from the didn't-expect-that dept
Even so, it's quite surprising to find out that Cox is entering the mobile phone business for real -- as in building its own network. The company has apparently been acquiring spectrum to serve its market, and negotiating with handset providers. The article is a little unclear, but it sounds like there may still be a roaming agreement with Sprint, since the article claims the phones will work on both Cox's network and Sprint's -- suggesting Cox is working on an EVDO network. However, the company also claims that it's looking at using LTE as its "4G" technology. LTE is the technology chosen by pretty much everyone else in the US but Sprint, which is betting on WiMax.
Cox claims that its mobile service will be highly integrated with the other aspects of its business, including letting people watch TV on their handsets, control their DVRs from the handsets and automatically synchronize phone address books with home computer address books. It's good to see them thinking about real integration between services, because that's still pretty rare, but those services are all going to need to work pretty well together to make it really convincing for most people. Either way, you could see this as the epilogue to the death of MVNOs. While we've already seen that most MVNO plans went nowhere, it's quite a statement when a company is now choosing to build its own damn network rather than just piggybacking on someone else's.