A new “Unbelievably Fair” ad campaign in its core Hampton Roads, Va. market heralds the March launch of Cox Communications’ wireless service and cellular network, one that has been in the works since 2008 when the company acquired some $300-odd million worth of 700MHz wireless spectrum.
Taking aim at perceptions of wireless service providers’ plans as disingenuous, the “Unbelievably Fair” campaign seeks to portray Cox in a contrasting light. “Our research found that value and transparency are very important to consumers when choosing a wireless service plan, but they are not finding these qualities in the wireless plans offered today,” said Gary McCollum, Cox Senior Vice President and General Manager in a company statement. “Total loss of unused minutes as well as unforeseen overage charges on bills are just two examples of what our customers have told us is just unfair.”
Cox began testing its cellular network in Hampton Roads, Omaha, Ne. and Orange County, Ca. last December using CDMA equipment supplied by Huawei and 700MHz and 1700 MHz spectrum it acquired in government auctions. The spectrum licenses cover Atlanta, New Orleans, San Diego, Omaha and Las Vegas, as well as parts of Kansas and southern New Mexico, some 23 million people in total.
Cox management has said they see mobile data and video as the next frontier for them. Cox will initially rely on Sprint’s CDMA network for wireless service, but is also building out its own network, looking to the mobile industry’s preferred 4G LTE roadmap as the way forward. It’s also been redesigning and outfitting its retail outlets in anticipation of offering not only wireless services, but its own line of mobile phones.
Keeping pace with competitors, specifically in the markets it serves and with industry trends more broadly–Verizon began offering TV along with its voice and Internet services in parts of Hampton Roads in 2007–Cox has invested heavily to extend its reach to encompass wireless. Besides winning 700MHz spectrum in 2008, Cox, in a joint venture with Sprint and other cable companies, also took a share of a $2.37 billion investment to acquire 137 AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) licenses.