Cox’s Wireless Plans Taking Shape

Cox Communications is one cable company that is wasting no time and embracing wireless. Cox’s wireless subsidiary, Cox Wireless, spent around $304 million and snatched up 14 Block A and eight Block B licenses as part of the recently concluded 700 spectrum auctions. Now, there is word that the company has given the contract to build the network to Chinese equipment maker, Huawei. UBS Research in a note to its clients notes that, Huawei is going to supply CDMA gear for a wireless network.

“Huawei won over the likes of Alcatel-Lucent and Nortel. Although we estimate this business at less than $100 million per year, we note that it marks a key stepping stone as Huawei looks to gain traction in North America,” UBS Research notes. A Cox spokesperson declined comment when I reached out to them. According to Cable Digital News, analysts believe Cox could use the wireless spectrum to build a wireless broadband network. Huawei is making gear that works on CDMA and LTE networks.

Other cable companies that won slices of 700 MHz spectrum include Vulcan Spectrum, an entity controlled by Paul Allen, who also owns Charter Communications. Bend Broadband of Oregon also snagged a Block B license. Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse Networks are rumored to be exploring a WiMAX venture with Sprint and Clearwire. Comcast recently hired Dave Williams, former CTO of O2, to head up Comcast Wireless, indicating that it is finally serious about wireless. A recent survey from Compete and Fierce Wireless shows that consumers will happily buy wireless service if offered by a wireline carrier or a cable provider.