Cox Can Disrupt Wireless Operators AT&T & Verizon

Pat Esser President of Cox Communications

Cox is taking wireless seriously and Pat Esser could be the CEO who completely disrupts the entire industry that has been dominated by four large carriers.  However, I have some questions why Cox keeps delaying their launch months and seemingly years.  Do they want to make a purchase or a merger to scale quicker?  Are they rethinking their femtocell strategy?  Do they recognize that Google and Android / Nexus One phones will be a critical piece of the puzzle that will drive customer adoption?

Cox Communications continues to push out the commercial launch date of its first wireless markets another two or three months. The company has been testing the wireless service with wireline family customers in Hampton Roads, Va., Omaha, Neb. and soon in Orange County, Calif., since March. Cox President Pat Esser told Bloomberg that those markets will be commercially ready in two to three months. Additionally, Esser said that about 24 percent of Cox's customers said they will ditch their current carrier for Cox's wireless plans.

As in the past, the company has declined to say when the wireless service will be expanded to its entire footprint or what its prices and handset lineup will be. And the company has been shifting back the date when it will provide these details. At the end of March, Cox spokesman David Grabert told FierceWireless that "in the next few weeks we're going to see details on rate plans and devices," but declined to provide a specific date. In early May, Cox told consumers who registered on the Cox Wireless website that the public launch would be in the "coming weeks."

Cox plans to deploy its CDMA EV-DO network--via suppliers Starent and Huawei--on its own AWS spectrum, and eventually plans to migrate to LTE via its 700 MHz holdings. The carrier's current wireless efforts rely on Sprint Nextel's (NYSE:S) network, an interim step as the company prepares its own network.

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