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Sprint, Cable Operators Form 'Landmark' Joint Venture

Sprint Nextel and three large cable operators Wednesday said they have formed a "landmark" joint venture that will enable them to offer a converged mix of wireless and wired access and content.

That mix of products will include both wireless and wireline VoIP voice telephony, wired and wireless Internet access and cable-related content delivered to mobile devices.

Sprint entered into the joint venture with Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Advance/Newhouse Communications. The joint venture will be funded with $100 million from Sprint and $100 million combined from the three cable operators.

The new venture will start offering a so-called quadruple play to their joint customers in 2006, the vendors said in a statement. By that, the companies that they will each offer combinations of video, wireless voice and data, Internet access and phone service via cable. They also said that they will offer video to mobile users.

The companies said in their statement that a new generation of wireless phones will be developed that will enable Sprint customers to access cable content via Sprint's 3G EV-DO network. The mixing of the networks also will enable customers to access e-mail, both home and mobile voice mail and even manage their digital video recorders via their cell phones.

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