Mobile: The next, slowly emerging frontier for cable

Cable's somewhat murky move into the mobile space "may simply involve current economics," according to a CircleID post by Leonard Grace, who believes that the industry's penchant for partnerships with Clearwire and Sprint signals a way to get to market "both cheaper and faster."

Grace thinks that the industry is not shirking mobile but is instead making a "limited, deliberate and measured investment into the mobile community while only launching where they need to compete."

Time Warner Cable, which has partnered with both Clearwire and Sprint, has advanced its mobile chips across the table with what it calls IntelliGo, a shirt pocket-sized mobile hotspot built by Sierra Wireless that provides 4G and 3G network access for as many as five Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The device's goal is to help subscribers access Clearwire's networks when available and Sprint's 3G network as a fallback, the MSO said.

Outside the pure boundaries of cable television, mobile video is getting its own levels of attention. Qualcomm has recently tried to generate some interest for shedding its FLO TV service while its competitor/counterpart MobiTV said its iphon application has been downloaded by more than a million customers. this means, the company said, that one out of every 308 Americans have downloaded the application which features live TV programming and VoD from major networks and cable channels.

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