RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – The competition for your phone, cellular and high-speed Internet service is about to intensify in the Triangle and several other metropolitan markets.
Raleigh is one of the pilot markets where Sprint Nextel will team with cable TV companies to offer a “grand slam” package of services. The combined offering is expected to be made available in the second half of the year, according to Bloomberg news.
In Raleigh, Sprint will work with Time Warner Cable to combine cable TV, telephone, high-speed Internet and cellular services. The Raleigh Time Warner Cable operation is responsible for Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville along with other communities.
However, a Time Warner spokesman told WRAL Local Tech Wire that local cable officials know little at this point about the offering.
The choice of the Raleigh market is not a surprise since it was among the first Time Warner markets to offer both RoadRunner high-speed Internet access and digital telephone service.
Time Warner Cable has some 516,000 cable customers spread across 16 Central North Carolina counties. It also has some 80,000 digital phone customers, a spokesman said. (Note: These are not Voice over Internet Protocol customers.)
Sprint and Time Warner Cable will also work together in Austin TX.
Other cable TV firms working with Sprint on the quadruple play of service offerings are Cox, Comcast and Advance/Newhouse Communications.
The cable TV-Sprint partnership was disclosed in November.
The companies announced the launch of the program on Monday morning at a national cable trade exhibition show in Atlanta.
Sprint has committed $100 million to the joint venture as have the five cable firms.
Sprint also reported Monday that it has more than one million Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) subscribers through its relationship with cable TV firms. That’s a 400 percent increase in growth in one year, according to Sprint.
“We are continuing to execute against our vision of being the premier partner to the cable industry,” said Jim Patterson, vice president of cable solutions for Sprint, in a statement. “Today, Sprint’s wireline cable partners rely on our operational experience to enable quality VoIP services and bundled offerings in twenty-four states. We are continuing to pursue additional customers and territory expansion, even as current market penetration grows.”