With recent approval of the landmark spectrum deal between the cable industry and Verizon Wireless complete, the partners are moving quickly to ramp up their resale partnership, which was closely linked with the original spectrum deal. The last two days have seen several announcements between Verizon Wireless (VZW) and Time Warner Cable, and between VZW and Cox to expand the resale of each other’s services in several states, including Texas, California, New York and Massachusetts.
The early stages of these partnership ventures include bundling incentives for customers to sign up for a package of cable, broadband, wireless, and even home phone. Both VZW and their cable partners are reselling each other’s services in their respective retail locations, as well as through in-bound call centers. Other partners include Comcast and Bright House. With the exception of Bright House, all cable partners have launched the resale packages. Current incentives include Visa Debit Cards of $100 – $400 in value, depending on the provider and the selected package.
The real interesting stuff will come later. Even thought the Justice Department put some restrictions on what they can do, VZW and its cable partners are working behind the scenes to come up with more interesting ways to leverage this partnership, including new forms of mobile entertainment products.
We’ve see glimpses of what these products may look like, including Comcast’s Download2Go and Verizon’s Allscreen, both of which emphasize making entertainment content portable, or even mobile for tablets and smartphones.
Additionally, the cable industry is all-in on Wi-Fi, which may someday lead to their own Wi-Fi based mobile broadband service, using the VZW network as a roaming partner for areas where Wi-Fi is not available.
So while we’re seeing a lot of early momentum with these somewhat strange bedfellows, the real interesting stuff is yet to come.