Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Visions of the cable future?

Interesting times for the folks at IPWireless. Friday brought the news that SkyWeb was successful in its attempts to win the 2020 - 2025MHz spectrum up for grabs in Finland, positioning it as both service provider and MVNO facilitator. Much larger on Friday was the news from Japan that IPMobile is moving ahead with TD-CDMA plans, filing a formal application for spectrum and raising additional capital from domestic partners and Liberty Global, according to the Nikkei story (which is behind walls of steel). The gist is this:

"Under the agreement, IPMobile will increase its capital to about 1.32 billion yen in October by issuing new shares to Liberty Global, CSK and others. If the ministry decides to issue IPMobile a license at year-end, then Liberty Global will offer additional financing of more than 20 billion yen, while the rest will come up with a combined sum of at least 30 billion yen. Operationally, Jupiter Telecommunications Co. (4817) -- a leading cable television programming provider in which Liberty Global has a stake -- and Rakuten will offer content for the cell phone service."

Liberty's gigantic European cable unit UPC is already moving into the MVNO space, and as far as I know UPC is still in possession of some spectrum in various European countries from the wireless broadband 1.0 era. All this makes me wonder what's in store for Europe.

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