C Spire Wireless, the regional wireless carrier formerly known as Cellular South, plans to sell tablets with built-in wireless capabilities at some point in the near future, the company's CEO said.
"We are looking at a variety of embedded tablet devices. We don't sell any today, but it is something that we do see as an important part of our portfolio in the future," said CEO Hu Meena in an interview with FierceWireless. "I know that we have prioritized to make sure that we get an embedded tablet device as soon as we can."
Meena declined to provide any additional specifics, including when the carrier would sell embedded tablets or which vendor would build the devices.
C Spire in March began selling the Wi-Fi-only Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) Xoom Android tablet, coupled with a MiFi hotspot, and Meena said the device "has sold well." Motorola announced in its most recent quarter it sold 440,000 Xoom tablets, up from 250,000 in the prior quarter. (Motorola sells the Xoom primarily through Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), and recently announced it would retrofit existing EV-DO Xooms with LTE capabilities.) The carrier also sells the Wi-Fi-only Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
C Spire's tablet plans are notable considering some carriers appear to be backing away from tablets. Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) recently announced it discontinued its plan to offer a Wi-Fi-only ViewSonic Android tablet with a 7-inch screen. Meena said that he expects tablets to be sold through both computer stores and wireless carriers, and that "I think they provide a significant amount of value to a certain segment of the customer base."
After more than 20 years of operating as Cellular South, C Spire last week rebranded itself. The carrier counts around 875,000 wireless subscribers across Mississippi and parts of Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. The CDMA carrier offers nationwide service through roaming.
Cellular South rebrands itself as C Spire Wireless
Rumor Mill: Cellular South may rebrand itself under 'Personalized Wireless' banner
Cellular South details network enhancements ahead of LTE launch
LightSquared inks LTE deal with Cellular South
Cellular South to sell Xoom
Leap ditches plans to offer Android-powered ViewSonic tablet