NEW YORK – Wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. (search) on Wednesday announced a joint venture with four cable operators aimed at bundling voice, data and video services, as the telecommunications industry continues to converge.
The 20-year deal is mutually exclusive for three years, and calls for a $200 million investment from the five firms — $100 from Sprint and a combined $100 million from Comcast Corp., the cable division of Time Warner Inc., (search) Cox Communications Inc. and Advance/Newhouse Communications Inc.
Together, the companies plan to package video, wireless voice and data services, high-speed Internet and cable-phone service and sell them in Sprint stores and other retail locations.
They will also develop mobile devices that integrate cable and wireless services, offering features like the ability to merge home and wireless voicemail and to surf the Web via a home Internet connection, the companies said.
The move by the cable companies comes as telecoms Verizon Communications Inc. and SBC Communications Inc. prepare to launch pay television services.