Cox said today that it is piloting mobile service in three markets, making it the latest cable company with a wireless offering. The three markets are Hampton Roads, Virginia; Omaha, Nebraska and Las Vegas.
A Cox spokesperson told Telecompetitor that the company’s Pay As You Gig service starts at $15/GB per month and a separate Gig Unlimited offering is $45 per month.
The company joins fellow cable companies Comcast and Charter in offering wireless service. Both of those companies have had wireless offerings for several years, available only to people who also subscribe to the cable company’s home broadband offering.
Cox clearly is using the same approach, as the company said it plans to launch the service in its “remaining markets on a rolling basis throughout the rest of the year.”
Comcast and Charter mobile offerings use what some call a “Wi-Fi first” approach in which customers are connected to Wi-Fi hotspots where available or fall back on a cellular network where Wi-Fi is not available.
The cable companies typically rely on an agreement with one of the major carriers for nationwide cellular connectivity, and Cox apparently is using the same approach. But the Cox spokesperson declined to say which carrier’s cellular network the Cox Mobile offering will rely on.
Although today’s press release does not detail a Wi-Fi First approach, it does note that Cox Mobile customers will be able to use more than four million of Cox’s on-the-go Wi-Fi hotspots.
Some industry observers eventually expect the wireless companies to deploy cellular infrastructure of their own, and it’s worth noting that Cox has some spectrum that could be used to support cellular service. The company was one of the biggest winners in the 2020 auction of spectrum in the CBRS band.
Cable Wireless Success
Cable companies are doing quite well in the highly saturated mobile market.
Analysts at MoffettNathanson estimate that cable companies garnered at least half and perhaps as much as 98% of net wireless subscriber additions in the first quarter of 2022. The analysts expect mobile service to represent 7% to 8% of revenues for Comcast and Charter by 2025.