T-Mobile and cable a logical combination

It makes sense that T-Mobile is actively pursuing a joint venture with Clearwire and its cable members Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Cable, even while aggressively rolling out Clearwire's 4G WiMAX service for data customers, is a slow follower when it comes to wireless. Partnerships with Sprint--the lead Clearwire supporter--help, but cable's bundled service offerings often come up short against those of Verizon and AT&T which can throw an active mobile wireless component into the mix.

Robert Dotson, CEO of T-Mobile USA told an investor conference in Germany that the carrier is looking to create a joint venture with Clearwire to improve its wireless offerings, noting, "there are a number of different options we look at (and we) have been talking with cable companies, with Clearwire."

T-Mobile, like cable, has to do something. It's in fourth place among U.S. wireless carriers, has been leaking customers and is facing an uphill battle against the two mobile giants for spectrum, footprint and features. On an almost opposite scale from cable, T-Mobile lacks any elements of a bundle that would put it in parity with Verizon's FiOS and AT&T's U-Verse offerings. T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom has indicated that it wants something to happen and was reported to possibly spin off the company if it can't expand its network.

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