Cox Communications has officially launched 3G wireless voice and data service in Northern Virginia and the Roanoke, Va., area, just two months after deciding it would stop building its own wireless facilities and resell EV-DO service from Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S).
Cox kicked off an ad campaign in those markets last month, emphasizing a money-back feature for unused minutes. Cox wireless service is also is available in Hampton Roads, Va., Orange County, Calif., Omaha, Neb., Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., Rhode Island, Connecticut and Cleveland. The MSO plans to introduce wireless service in San Diego and Santa Barbara, Calif., and many of the communities it serves in Topeka and Wichita, Kansas and Northwest Arkansas this year, which will bring mobile voice and data to more than 50 percent of its footprint
In May, Cox said it would decommission its 3G network infrastructure and continue using Sprint's network for its wireless service. In a recent interview with FierceWireless, Kelly Williams, Cox's vice president of wireless products and operations, said the economics of the 3G wholesale model had changed in a favorable way and that reselling Sprint's service helps the company come to market much more quickly than building its own network. Moreover, since 4G is coming online rapidly, building 3G markets just didn't make sense.
Still, Cox plans to roll out a 4G network at some point in the future, likely using AWS and 700 MHz spectrum it owns. However, Williams said the MSO is in discussions with several different entities to figure out its approach to providing 4G services.
- see this Multichannel News article
Cox's Williams hints at cable company's 4G future
Cox backpedals on 3G network, will remain Sprint MVNO
Cox to expand wireless to 50% of footprint by year-end
Cox's Stephen Bye says 'bye' to MSO, heads to Sprint
Cox begins wireless expansion with Oklahoma launch
Cox unveils quad-play incorporating CDMA wireless service
Cox stays mum about wireless launch details