Feeds

Revived cableco alliance could save Xohm...

...and Sprint

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Comment Former Sprint Nextel CEO Gary Forsee may have made a massively bad job of managing the carrier's merger and other operational challenges, but he left three major innovations as his positive legacy, which may still be the key to a Sprint turnaround.

One was his pioneering of the MVNO (multiple virtual network operator) model, which will be critical to Sprint's Xohm WiMAX-based business as well as its CDMA activities. The others were Xohm itself, and the deal with four major cablecos (Time Warner, Comcast, Bright House, and Cox) announced in 2005 and later dubbed Pivot.

Both Xohm and Pivot were ambitious in concept; both have had their wings severely clipped by Sprint's financial troubles and consequent shareholder nervousness, to the extent that Pivot is all but dead; but both could, if properly supported, turn Sprint into the disruptive carrier it aims to be, and do this more effectively if combined.

The failed cable dream

As Sprint casts around for investment partners to keep Xohm alive with less cost and risk to itself, there is the prospect that the vision Forsee conceived, even if he failed to execute, could be revived. Three of the Pivot partners are rumored to be mulling an investment in Xohm, or more probably in a joint venture between Xohm and Clearwire.

This venture – mooted last year and now on the cards again - would own nearly all the 2.5GHz mobile broadband spectrum in the US, with sufficient capacity to support a fully broadband fixed and mobile network that could propel the cablecos into the mobile and converged world, going head-to-head with AT&T and Verizon on geographic reach and range of advanced services.

While Pivot dwindled into little more than a cross-marketing agreement for cable and cellular services – and an unsuccessful one at that – at the outset it was intended to be something far more ambitious, with the five partners investing in creating a converged fixed/mobile broadband service using Sprint's CDMA and, later, WiMAX networks, and enabling the cablecos to match the convergence moves of the major DSL/fiber providers, and outdo the satellite TV operators.

This would have given Sprint an important position in US media and telecoms, in effect leveraging the cablecos' networks and customer bases to mount a challenge to Verizon and AT&T that would be impossible on its own.

For this vision to materialize, Xohm needs to be part of the deal, because it can deliver the kind of advanced services and true "broadband anywhere" that will be essential for cablecos to stay abreast of the major telcos.

It will also have the potential to carry the cable operators' TV content wirelessly, reaching mobile or nomadic devices and new geographic regions. This will be the great hope for NextWave, which recently announced a WiMAX implementation of its mobile TV technology for TDD spectrum, called MXtv.

At last week's CTIA wireless industry conference in San Francisco, NextWave talked up this development and demonstrated prototypes, dropping heavy hints that it would be of interest to Xohm and possibly to the cable operators.

Certainly, it would allow the cablecos to respond to another move by Verizon and AT&T – the move towards mobile TV, with both the major carriers currently using Qualcomm's MediaFLO system.

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Next page: Interest in Xohm

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?