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Time Warner Cable unwraps wireless in Raleigh, Austin

Time Warner Cable became the latest of Sprint Nextel Corp.’s cable partners to launch wireless services, lighting up offerings in Raleigh, N.C. and Austin, Texas, running on Sprint Nextel’s network. With the new launches, Sprint Nextel now counts four markets where its cable partners have launched commercial services.
Sprint Nextel signed a landmark deal last year with four of the nation’s largest cable companies. The agreement allows the cable vendors to add wireless to their mix of services.
Comcast Corp. was the first to launch commercial services under the joint venture with service introductions in Portland, Ore., and Boston, Mass.
Cox Communications Inc., another member of the cable company joint venture with Sprint Nextel, soon will launch its own services in two markets. Sprint Nextel was not immediately able to name the markets or launch dates.
In Raleigh and Austin, Time Warner is offering four Sprint Nextel handsets ranging in price from $20 to $130. The two most expensive handsets, the Sanyo 8400 and the LG Fusic (being sold as the LX-500) are TV-enabled; the other two handsets, the 2400 and 6600 from Sanyo, are not.
Time Warner’s calling plans are largely in line with what Sprint Nextel offers, except for a low-end individual calling plan. Time Warner’s low-end plan, $30 per month for 200 anytime minutes, undercuts plans from Sprint Nextel and other national carriers.
The rest of Time Warner’s plans are in line with Sprint Nextel’s: Individual plans top out at $100 for 2,000 anytime minutes; family plans range from $60 per month for 550 minutes to $150 monthly for 3,000 minutes; and Sprint mobile-to-mobile calling is included on plans of 450 minutes or more.
As for Time Warner’s data services, the company is tying its TV and Internet offerings into its wireless service. Time Warner wireless subscribers can access their Time Warner e-mail account through their handset, and can also check their local cable TV listings. Some of Time Warner’s cable channels are also available for viewing on the company’s cellphones.
Time Warner is also offering several Sprint Nextel services such as full-track music downloads through the Sprint Music Store as well as Sprint’s picture mail service.


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