In recent months, rumors have been circulating regarding Time Warner’s interest in launching a VoIP service using Clearwire’s WiMAX network. These rumors were confirmed by Time Warner’s vice president for mobile services, Mike Roudi. Simply stated, he said that in order for Time Warner to become competitive with major carriers like AT&T and Verizon, the company will need a wireless voice offering.
Roudi pointed out that though the company’s current interest has been the launch of their mobile broadband, it is important to keep in mind that Time Warner has been brainstorming and strategizing about voice as well.
“One of the great things about the Clearwire WiMAX network is, just like we do voice over our wireline broadband, over time we will be able to do voice basically as a VoIP application. That is something we have our eyes on. We just have chosen not to lead with voice, because mobile broadband is a more immediate opportunity for us because it is such a natural extension of the wireline Road Runner product,” said Roudi.
While the mobile industry continues to be driven by subscriber growth among other factors, mobile broadband is going to continue to be a major focus in 2010 and beyond, with WiMAX as the key driver in many emerging markets. Time Warner’s own branded WiMAX service, Road Runner Mobile, has been available in Dallas, Hawaii and North Carolina. Based on the company’s Q4 2009 earnings and recent success, CEO Glenn Britt believes the networks of the future will combine both wireless and wireline components.
“This will develop in exciting ways we really can’t imagine today, but I think there is going to be a whole array of products using these hybrid networks in the future…this is the very early beginning and I don’t know how to size the opportunity because I don’t think any of us really and fully imagine what the products are going to be — but it is an exciting opportunity.”
Back in January, Britt said that Time Warner had the capability to create a wireless voice product, but that the company was unsure of its future. Time Warner’s momentum has cleary kept going since January and along with current markets where Road Runner is available, Roudi announced that the company plans to launch service in new markets including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and New York City later this year as Clearwire … Read the rest