Sprint Names JV's Head

Sprint and its cable partners appoint John Garcia president of their quadruple-play joint venture

January 5, 2006

3 Min Read

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S - News), Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq:CMCSA - News, CMCSK - News), Time Warner Cable -- a unit of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX - News), Cox Communications and Advance/Newhouse Communications today announced that John A. Garcia, senior vice president of Strategic Partners for Sprint Consumer Solutions, has been named president of the companies' nationwide joint venture announced in November 2005.

Garcia, who assumes the position immediately and will be located in Overland Park, Kan., will focus on delivering the convergence of video entertainment, wireline and wireless data and communications products and services to the approximately 41 million customers currently served by four of the country's largest cable companies as well as to Sprint's nearly 46 million wireless subscribers. The venture has the potential to serve approximately 75 million homes currently passed by the cable companies.

"This exciting joint venture will combine the expertise, technical leadership and customer focus of all the partners," Garcia said. "This is an incredible opportunity and our goal is to provide millions of customers access to the most advanced integrated entertainment, communications and wireless products available anywhere in the United States. As early as mid-2006, we intend to begin the first steps of our rollout and deliver on that promise."

Garcia will report to a six-member governance council - three from Sprint and one each from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox. The remainder of employees for the joint venture will be named in the next few months and will include positions in marketing, product, operations, program management, finance, strategy and other areas.

The joint venture, which will be mutually exclusive for three years and have a 20-year term, calls for a combined initial financial commitment of $200 million, $100 million of which will be committed by Sprint and $100 million of which will be committed collectively by the cable companies. The investment is expected to be used to fund the development of the converged services, national marketing initiatives and back-office integration. The companies continue to contemplate additional participation from other cable companies.

Beginning in 2006 and under Garcia's leadership, the companies in the joint venture plan to:

  • Offer consumers access to the expanded four element bundle, or "Quadruple Play," or any combination of services including video, wireless voice and data services, high speed Internet and cable phone service

  • Serve growing consumer demand for a wireless "third screen" beyond the TV and computer screens

  • Develop and introduce new co-branded wireless devices that will provide new and unique features that integrate cable and wireless services

  • Sell and market these co-branded products and services to customers through a combination of 1,600 Sprint retail stores, cable retail outlets and other third-party distributors, including thousands of RadioShack stores

  • Unlike MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) or other wholesale relationships, the companies participating in this joint venture will retain full economic benefits of the acquired customers, similar to what they currently enjoy through their direct retail channels.

Garcia was one of the earliest employees hired into Sprint's Wireless group in 1995. In his first role as vice president of Marketing, he managed many of the initial marketing and sales strategies used to launch Sprint PCS into the marketplace. He then became region president for the Southwest Area in 1996, and was promoted to senior vice president of Sales & Distribution in 1998. In that role, Garcia developed and implemented the sales, distribution, handset and marketing strategies that drove Sprint's growth and success in the wireless industry.

In 2005, Sprint's strategic partnerships became Garcia's full-time focus and following Sprint's merger with Nextel in August 2005, he led the Sprint Nextel team responsible for creating the joint venture with the nation's four largest cable companies.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)

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