Cox to launch 3G cellular network in 2009

Utilizing the 700MHz spectrum block it acquired in March and the Sprint network, Cox Communications today announced plans to launch its own wireless service.

The company plans to enter the market in 2009 on Sprint's network, and then roll out its own 3G network, which it is currently building. Cox's plans also involve testing LTE for 4G connectivity.

Sprint's alliance with cable companies dates back nearly three years, but many anticipated Comcast would be the first communications provider to roll out a "quadruple play" package (Cable, Internet, Voice, Wireless). At CES early this year, Verizon and AT&T discussed similar setups based upon their burgeoning fiber optic networks.

"Given its existing business operations, Cox is well positioned to extend its local market assets for wireless and leverage its existing customer relationships in the markets it serves," said Frost & Sullivan analyst J. Gerry Purdy, "This strategy is very similar to the company's successful entry into the landline telephone business more than 10 years ago."

Cox Vice President of Wireless Stephen Bye told USA Today this morning that the wireless service will be integrated into the company's other services, such as mobile access to DVRs, land line voicemail, and e-mail.

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