We’ve seen some announcements lately pertaining to Cox and its new wireless business, so it’s not surprising the MSO announced yesterday it was expanding its wireless offering to parts of Oklahoma.

Cox’s "Unbelievably Fair" advertising campaign will begin this week in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. To date, the operator’s wireless service is available in Hampton Roads, Va.; Omaha, Neb.; and Orange County, Calif.

In addition to its marketing campaign, Cox is making its wireless presence known with new retail stores across Oklahoma. It soon will unveil "Mobile Solutions" as the centerpiece of its Oklahoma stores, featuring its wireless products and services and highlighting the integration of Cox services. A Cox spokeswoman said, "We will have nine Cox-operated retail locations for the launch of wireless in Oklahoma (Solutions Stores, kiosks, etc.)."

Cox’s wireless service is offered on a 3G CDMA network leased from Sprint-Nextel. With the future in mind, the operator has conducted 4G LTE trials using its own Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) and 700 MHz spectrum it acquired at FCC auctions in 2006 and 2008. (For more, click here).

Last week, Interop Technologies announced Cox had chosen its hosted CDMA Over-the-Air Service Provisioning (OTASP) technology to automate device activation at the point-of-sale. (For more, click here). And mPortal says Cox has selected its Springboard smart client and content delivery manager to create a mobile widget platform that runs on the idle screens of wireless handsets. Subscribers can personalize their handsets with the widgets they use most.

"The mobile user experience is another way to enrich and simplify our customers’ lives," said Stephen Bye, vice president/Wireless at Cox, in a statement. "We are committed to enabling our wireless subscribers to enjoy an intuitive, feature-rich and personalized user experience on their devices."

At a BigBand Networks-sponsored Communications Technology breakfast at last year’s Cable Show, Bye said, "We’re moving from a premise-based business model to a personal-device business model. Devices are a challenge. Very few players have a lot of pull when it comes to device vendors. We’re part of a buying co-op. That’s how we get some scale."

The Cox spokesperson said the current portfolio of wireless devices includes the Android-enabled smartphones HTC Desire, Motorola Milestone, LG Axis, HTC Hero and HTC Wildfire. The operator also sells two BREW-enabled devices: the Samsung Messager Touch and the Samsung Profile.

Competition Ramps Up

At that same CT breakfast last summer, Bye noted, "For us, we look at voice as a $100 billion market in the United States. We want a share of that. We have a brand. We can add wireless to that brand." (For more, see Wireless Strategies: The Partnership’s The Thing).

While Cox wants its wireless play to grab market share from traditional wireless operators, it hasn’t forgotten its own wired telephony roots. Recently, Cox Business added managed equipment to its voice service for small-business customers. Cox has launched Managed IP PBX+ service in Oklahoma and Las Vegas. (For more, click here).

And speaking of Las Vegas, CenturyLink is challenging Cox’s dominance as the major cable-TV provider in Sin City. CenturyLink, the region’s dominant telco, is making a video play in Las Vegas with its new Prism product, which provides access to more than 200 all-digital channels as well as pay-per-view and VoD. It also offers Internet access via Microsoft software.

-Linda Hardesty

The Daily

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