telecommunications

Cox Communications considers selling 3G network

Posted 6/16/11

(Updated, June 20, 8:30 a.m.)

CHICAGO - Cox Communications Inc., the third-largest U.S. cable-TV operator, is considering selling its wireless network to a large telecommunications company, President Pat Esser said.

Cox will either sell the infrastructure to a company such as AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. or Sprint Nextel Corp., or tear down the network, Esser said Tuesday in an interview in Chicago. Cox has no plans to upgrade the network, which uses so-called third-generation technology, to support the faster 4G standard, Esser said. The company added that no customers ever used the 3G network.

Closely held Cox, based in Atlanta, said last month it would stop building out its own network and would instead rely on a partnership with Sprint to deliver wireless service to customers. The decision is based on Sprint’s speedier 4G network, Esser said, which he said will become the industry standard.

Cox is also in talks with Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. to use that venture’s network to further boost its wireless coverage, Esser said.

Cox has a variety of options for its wireless spectrum, said spokesman David Deliman. That includes using it for a future LTE network or working with another wireless provider as partners. Cox has no “near-term” plans to sell the spectrum, he said.

Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman, declined to comment, as did Scott Sloat, a Sprint spokesman, and Brenda Raney, a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman.

Cox offers mobile-phone service bundled with its broadband, video and landline voice services. Cox’s program to pay back customers for unused minutes has been successful with consumers, said Esser, who plans to roll out wireless service to more than 50 percent of the company’s footprint this year.

2 comments on this story | Add your comment
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Jim_Donahue

Quite obviously Cox has not been successful marketing their overpriced wireless service.

Lightsquared will never get off the ground either. Too many issues with their conditional license.

Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Report this
amy.quinn@cox.com

@Jim: No customers were ever on the 3G networks we were building, and therefore this announcement has no impact on the servce we successfully launched in Rhode Island last month. We are using our wholesale relationship with Sprint to deliver Cox Wireless, and customer response to our unbelievably fair offers has been terrific. We will continue to launch wireless in new markets, bringing Cox Wireless to more than 50 percent of our footprint by end of 2011.

Thanks,

Amy Quinn

Director, Public Relations

Cox Communications

Friday, June 17, 2011 | Report this
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