Cable giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable are reported to be in talks with Sprint Nextel and Clearwire to fund a new wireless company that would create a nationwide WiMax network.WiMax or the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is intended to provide high-speed wireless access from laptops, cellphones, and other mobile devices; it could also be an alternative to DSL and cable for "last mile" Internet access. According to the report, Comcast would contribute as much as $1 billion to the joint venture, while Time Warner would kick in $500 million. Intel and Google are also mentioned as possible participants, though the deal itself is by no means a sure thing. Reportedly, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse wants the discussions wrapped up in time for Sprint to announce something at the CTIA Wireless trade show starting next week.
If Sprint can start building out a WiMax network quickly, it could gain an advantage over telecom and satellite competitors in the rush to provide advanced wireless broadband "4G" networks. "This is like a game of three dimensional chess because the cable operators aren't just thinking about how this helps them compete with Verizon and AT&T, but how this helps them block potential threats from DirecTV and Dish," says Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett.Wall Street Journal