Comcast Cable pursues wireless partner

Comcast officials say an imminent alliance with a telephone partner will allow it to pursue a wireless strategy that is central to a broader, long-term effort to sell video, high-speed and telephony services in the home.

In seeking a partnership with a major telco, Comcast aims to offer its cable TV subscribers the ability to check their Comcast e-mail, voicemail, on-demand video selections and conduct personalized product and service searches on a branded Comcast cellular phone, high-level Comcast executives told the Hollywood Reporter.

The dominant cable operator is negotiating with the recently merged Sprint-Nextel and with T-Mobile on its own behalf and as part of a consortium that includes Time Warner Cable, Cox Cable and Charter Communications to secure a wireless partnership. Such an arrangement would be an important stepping-stone to a flurry of new Internet-based, digital broadband products and revenue.

Comcast’s pursuit of such a deal also makes it clear that the nation’s top cable operators have reconciled themselves to the need for a wireless strategy that only months ago was being shrugged off as discretionary, the report said.

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