updated 06:55 pm EDT, Fri April 1, 2011
Time Warner Cable said testing WiMAX phone
Time Warner Cable might dip its toes into its own high-end WiMAX smartphone after an inside leak was corroborated late Thursday. The unnamed hardware was in testing and would use Sprint's CDMA network for voice with Clearwire's network handling the WiMAX for 4G data. Few details were available to FierceWireless' sources, though it's presumed this would be an Android device.
A company spokesperson took the rare step of acknowledging that at least one mobile device with a phone component was being worked on with a partner company, but he wouldn't say more.
Time Warner has talked about mobile WiMAX for two years but has kept its rebranded 4G service away from phones so far. It may feel compelled to get involved since it had just 15,000 subscribers to its data-only plans as of the start of 2011. The company was briefly involved with Sprint for phone service through Pivot but had little success.
Concerns exist that any WiMAX phone from TWC would be obsolete if Sprint switches to LTE for 4G and takes Clearwire with it. Rumors have emerged that Time Warner Cable is talking to LightSquared to use its upcoming wholesale 4G network and may get a wide swath of coverage even if Sprint and Clearwire can't help.