Sprint-Nextel and four cablecos define their attack plan.

background: In an announcement earlier today, Sprint-Nextel and four of the nation’s largest cablecos (Advance, Comcast, Cox and Time-Warner) announced the formation of a joint venture company, encompassing $200 Million in capital to create and operate a cable-voice and wireless-voice.

Sprint and the cable industry have done well together over the past decade. In 1994, Sprint and TCI and a few other cablecos formed Sprint PCS, the wireless company, joint venture. Over the past decade the cablecos’ investments were consolidated by Sprint. There are several factors which drove this deal:

  1. A positive experience the last time Sprint formed a JV company with cablecos;
  2. Each of the cable companies have experienced some success with their own VoIP offering;
  3. SBC acquires AT&T and adopts AT&T name;
  4. Verizon acquires MCI; and,
  5. Sprint acquires Nextel.

There are fewer and fewer strategic options for these market participants. Knowing the next frontier is a battle for FMC, and with fewer and fewer possible partners, it’s only a matter of time before the battle begins without you (meaning, you’ll be a victim of your future, instead of the captain of your future).

Interestingly, this leaves T-Mobile as a remaining, big, not articulated (stranded?) FMC play.

Good luck Sprint-Adavnce/Cox/Time-Warner!

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