iPhone woes could be Time Warner's wins

Necessity could make for some strange bedfellows in New York City. AT&T needs some way to backhaul an overload of wireless traffic from its popular iPhone in the Big Apple. Time Warner Cable is pitching its underground fiber optic network.

Backhaul is and continues to be a big and growing business for cable operators and mobile carriers are not necessarily shying away. It's been said that it's more palatable to give business to a cable competitor than to another carrier thus companies like Time Warner in New York, Comcast in the San Francisco Bay area where AT&T is also suffering problems, and Cox Communications, which has been ahead of the curve on the whole backhaul business, think there's lots of money to be made in backhaul.

Time Warner has declined to say if AT&T is interested in becoming a customer, but the MSO knows that the need is there. "They want to get into a cable as fast as they can," said TWC CEO Glenn Britt in a December conference call.

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