There are reports surfacing that the consortium of large MSOs that make up Pivot Wireless have begun strategizing their next move. That move probably does not involve Sprint, which recently announced they were halting Pivot deployments. This has to be considered a real blow to the likes of Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, and Advance/Newhouse, the Pivot consortium members. The AP is reporting that the consortium has assembled a group of wireless business strategists to map out their wireless future, and they may decide to go it alone.
This has to be considered a serious competitive fumble for cable. The Pivot consortium realized long ago that a wireless component is necessary to effectively battle their telco competitors. Pivot, if not the answer, was at least seen as stemming the tide until such time that a longer term solution was unveiled. Sprint was seen as a good partner – Sprint already provides the lion’s share of VoIP expertise for cable landline telephony. No one could have predicted the troubles Sprint now faces and their obvious distractions are impacting both the Pivot and Xohm projects. Every day that the cable industry misses in getting their wireless act together is a day that the telecom industry grows their wireless lead. Cable is not without options. They are sitting on a boat load of spectrum themselves, acquired in the last AWS spectrum auction. The upcoming 700 Mhz auction also offers a window of opportunity. Or they may decide to just go ahead and buy Sprint. Neither of those options can be done quickly and therefore continues to put the cable industry at a disadvantage. Look for the telecom industry to continue to seize on their wireless advantage.