Feeds

Is Sprint getting cold feet about Pivot and Xohm?

As another bad quarter bites

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

But merely putting the ship back on an even keel will not be enough to enable Sprint to fulfil its potential in the US market. Saleh's statements on the announcement of Q3 figures were predictable and hollow.

"We are operating with a renewed sense of urgency and are committed to take dramatic action to fix our business," he said, but with no idea of what those actions might be, and more than a hint that Sprint is actually backing away from the options that have the greatest dramatic potential.

Pivot

Saleh admitted that Pivot, the $200m cable joint venture, which aims to offer a quad play offering nationwide, will not be expanded beyond its current base of 33 markets and 20 per cent of Sprint retail stores.

He said Pivot has suffered provisioning issues and, since Sprint is focusing on simplifying its business, it has decided not to expand Pivot. There have been predictable problems with integrating billing systems, but also the service has certainly not yet delivered on its vision of integrating TV, video and DVR functions across fixed and mobile platforms.

Although Saleh said the relationship with the cablecos remains strong, and they will work together on a future, simplified service for other markets, this sounds like the first nail in the coffin for a venture that held such promise of making Sprint into the key partner in a converged partnership that could be a realistic quad play alternative to the big two telcos – extending Sprint's successful MVNO model well beyond the realms of cellular voice and data.

It seemed likely at first that Pivot would also work on new spectrum and networks – something Sprint pulled back from when it exited a separate venture with its cable allies, SpectrumCo, which was set up to bid in auctions starting with last year's AWS. It was also probable that the venture would make use of the Xohm WiMAX network, since this could bring a powerful wireless element to the quad play and would benefit from the cablecos market reach – such an agreement would also take out potential conflicts of interest between Pivot and Xohm.

But for this to happen, the initial, relatively simple Pivot services had to be successful and well delivered, and this was not the case. In August, Forsee admitted Pivot's progress had been "disappointing" and it already seemed that the partners had fatally underestimated the complexity of, as he put it, "weaving the service into the cable fabric".

Fulfillment of the true quad play potential of Pivot also depended on the cablecos feeling sufficiently confident in Sprint's future networks to build a next generation strategy around them.

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Next page: Xohm's future?

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.