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Cable Group Details Wireless Win

The SpectrumCo joint venture of four MSOs and Sprint Nextel announced Thursday that it was the winning bidder for 137 wireless-spectrum licenses for $2.37 billion in the Federal Communications Commission's advanced-wireless-services auction.

The four cable operators involved are Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Advance/Newhouse Communications.

SpectrumCo said Comcast’s portion of the total costs to purchase the licenses is $1.29 billion, Time Warner’s is $632.2 million and Cox’s is $248.3 million.

“The licenses provide many options and significant flexibility as the SpectrumCo partners evolve their plans for wireless,” SpectrumCo said in a prepared statement. “The members of SpectrumCo did not approach this investment with the intent of becoming the nation's fifth wireless-voice provider, but to obtain greater flexibility in developing options for more advanced wireless services.”

The JV continued, “While no plans have as yet been finalized, including no specific plans to build out the networks at this time, in coming months, the members of SpectrumCo will fully evaluate all options including possible testing in limited markets.”

The group’s statement concluded, “Cable MSOs remain active with Sprint Nextel in the joint venture announced in November 2005. The acquired wireless spectrum could be used in conjunction with this JV. The cable MSOs expect to launch trials of the Sprint Nextel product in seven markets before the end of the year.”