Time Warner Talks Wireless

The company considers a wireless-spectrum bid along with partners.
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Pushing toward a promised "quadruple play" strategy, Time Warner (TWX) cable chief Glenn Britt says the company may join in on a bid for wireless spectrum.

Time Warner Cable and wireless joint-venture partners


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plan to file with the Federal Communications Commission to participate in a radio-wave license auction, Britt told analysts at an investor meeting Wednesday.

The move could give Time Warner joint ownership of spectrum to deliver video and Internet access to cell phones. But Britt seemed to indicate that there wasn't yet a firm commitment to the plan.

The application to join the auction gives Time Warner the option to pursue the wireless strategy if it is warranted, Britt said.

The company issued a statement Wednesday reading: "The filing of this application does not obligate Time Warner Cable or other companies to bid in the auction, but it provides us the flexibility to take part should we decide it makes business sense to do so."

In November, Time Warner, Sprint, Comcast and Advance/Newhouse chipped in $100 million to

form a joint venture to expand video services to mobile devices. The wireless service would be yet another consumer offering aimed at battling the telcos' planned triple-play bundle of phone, TV and Internet service.

For their part, phone companies like


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are spending billions on fiber-optic upgrades to deliver video to compete with cable companies.

The FCC is expected to start the auction for 1,222 licenses in the 1.7GHz and 2.1GHz bands on June 29.

Time Warner shares were up 8 cents to 17.13, Sprint rose two cents to $25.03 and Comcast was up 38 cents to $31.95 in midday trading.