TW Cable, VZ Wireless Gang Up on AT&T

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Verizon Wireless have launched cable/mobile service bundles in five markets: Raleigh, N.C.; Kansas City, Kan.; and Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo, Ohio.

None of those markets are in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s FiOS territory, but the launches will give the MSO and Verizon Wireless the opportunity to go after AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s mobile and U-verse customers.

They're the first TW Cable markets to come on line with the cable/mobile service bundles since the MSO, along with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Bright House Networks and Cox Communications Inc. , inked multifaceted deals in late 2011 that also included the sale of their respective Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum to Verizon Wireless for a combined $3.9 billion.

Comcast and Verizon Wireless have already teamed up in three markets: Seattle and Portland, Ore., and San Francisco.

In the TW Cable markets, the MSO and Verizon Wireless are offering a $200 prepaid debit card to new and current customers who sign up for one of the bundles. Among the bundles, TW Cable is marketing its 50Mbit/s Docsis 3.0 Ultimate Internet tier and its high-end SignatureHome service. (See TWC Takes 'SignatureHome' Service Nationwide.)

They intend to launch the packages in additional TW Cable markets "in the coming months."

So far, Verizon Wireless and its cable partners have avoided bundling up in FiOS markets. TW Cable matches up with FiOS in areas such as Dallas, New York City, and the Buffalo, N.Y., region.

Why this matters
The launches are the first for TW Cable and come into play as the feds review Verizon Wireless's proposed purchase of cable's AWS spectrum. Verizon asserts that it needs that spectrum to help it avoid a spectrum crunch it sees occurring in some markets by 2013.

The spectrum deals face some stiff opposition from other mobile carriers and consumer groups over concerns that they're anti-competitive. Verizon Wireless and its cable partners insist that they'll continue to compete vigorously on the wireline side.

For more

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

joanengebretson 12/5/2012 | 5:36:33 PM
re: TW Cable, VZ Wireless Gang Up on AT&T

Consumer groups have been talking about how Verizon's deal with the cable companies will reduce competition because Verizon will have no incentive to upgrade its network. But so far the co-marketing arrangements have been focused on areas where AT&T is the incumbent, which ultimately could spur AT&T to make upgrades.

Perhaps this deal isn't as anti-competitive as it might initially have seemed.

Sign In