Cox, CableCos Show Their Wireless Hand

The all-out war between telephone companies and cable companies is now going to be fought on a whole new front: wireless. Last week, Cox confirmed that it was getting into the wireless business, joining cable industry peers. Patrick Esser, president at Cox, revealed wireless at the Progress and Freedom Foundation conference in Aspen, Colo.:

“I won’t divulge too many secrets here, but we’ll focus on providing simple calling plans, integrating all our services into one device with a consistent cross-platform interface; and making our content and applications mobile.” (via PC Mag)

Here is a quick rundown of cable’s wireless plans so far:

  • Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse Networks backing the Clearwire-Sprint’s WiMAX venture.
  • Cox Wireless doing it alone.
  • Comcast recently hired Dave Williams, former CTO of O2, to head up Comcast Wireless.
  • Cablevision: no plans.
  • Charter Communications’ owner Paul Allen’s Vulcan Spectrum acquired 700 Mhz spectrum.
  • Bend Broadband of Oregon also snagged a 700 MHz Block B license.

Earlier this year we reported that Cox had started working on a wireless network using some of its newly acquired 700 MHz frequencies. Cox spent around $304 million to acquire 14 Block A and eight Block B licenses as part of the recently concluded 700 spectrum auctions. Chinese equipment maker Huawei is going to supply CDMA gear for a wireless network. Huawei is making gear that works on CDMA and LTE networks.

Phone companies have to be fretting: They are competing in the traditional land-line and broadband business and losing to the cable guys. Now cable companies want to go after their cash-cow wireless operations.