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Sprint’s Forsee: We’d Do MSO Deal

Sprint Nextel Corp. CEO Gary Forsee stopped short of confirming that the wireless carrier was in negotiations with a trio of cable operators to provide wireless service as part of an MSO bundle, but he told analysts Wednesday that he would be a willing participant in such a deal.

On Sprint Nextel’s third-quarter earnings conference call Wednesday morning, Forsee declined to comment about reports that a deal was close.

“To comment on some of the press speculation would be inappropriate,” he said on the call, “but we have also been clear that as we think about our opportunity to work with others and establish a bundle that could include wireless, should [cable operators] decide that is important, then we would certainly intend to be at the table to pursue that.”

Multichannel News first reported Monday that Sprint Nextel was close to signing a wholesale agreement -- also known as a mobile virtual-network operator agreement -- with Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications Inc. A deal, although not yet signed, could come as early as November.

According to a cable executive familiar with the negotiations, the agreement could allow the three MSOs to sell a co-branded wireless product -- Comcast Wireless by Sprint Nextel, Time Warner Wireless by Sprint Nextel and Cox Wireless by Sprint Nextel -- an MSO-only-branded product or even a Sprint Nextel-only branded product as part of a four-product bundle of voice, video, high-speed-Internet and wireless service.

The executive added that the MSOs could use a portion of the Sprint Nextel wireless spectrum they would get access to through the deal to provide wireless networking within customers’ homes, but that hasn’t been decided yet, either.