CoxCox has decided to go it alone with their wireless strategy and are currently building their own 3G wireless network. They revealed the initial market launches for their Cox wireless service – Hampton Roads, Va., Omaha, Neb.; and Orange County, Calif.

Cox isn’t being real specific with launch dates, saying the service is already being tested by some customers and is expected to launch commercially sometime in 2010.

“More than forty percent of our residential customers trust us to be their telephone service provider and two-thirds of our subscribers take all three of our existing services. Our customers have asked us to include wireless services as part of their bundle and we’ve listened,” said Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications.

Cox made news by their absence in cable led investments in Clearwire.  Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks participated in those investments and all of them have either launched or intend to launch wireless service by reselling Clearwire’s WiMAX services under their own brands. Cox decided to go it alone with their own facilities based wireless network. It’s quite a gamble for them, although their involvement in the failed Pivot wireless venture probably jaded their view of the wireless resale business.

Given Cox’s success in wireline voice, their competitors would be wise not to underestimate this wireless foray. It will be difficult and expensive, but they do have a track record of entering non-traditional cable businesses and succeeding. “We’ve carefully considered the unmet needs of wireless customers and we’ll be delivering a service that is uniquely Cox to address those needs,” added Esser

They’ve announced they intend to introduce “… a new retail experience …” for wireless. If there were ever a retail experience that needed reinventing, it’s the wireless one. Good luck with that Cox. This experiment will be one to watch.

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