Cox Launches Its New Mobile Service Pilot in Three Markets

Cox Communications has finally launched its long-awaited mobile offering. Cox Mobile is officially piloting in three markets where it is available only to Cox broadband customers: Las Vegas, Nevada; Hampton Roads, Virginia; and Omaha, Nebraska. Customers will initially be offered two plans, each featuring unlimited talk and text — Pay As You Gig and Gig Unlimited, with coverage including 4G LTE and 5G, in addition to 4 million Cox Wi-Fi hotspots. The company plans to expand Cox Mobile in new markets through the rest of the year.

The privately-held Cox has 6.5 million residential and commercial broadband customers in 18 states, and had revenues of $12.6 billion in 2020, according to the company fact-sheet.

Cox was at one point scheduled to launch its mobile network in October 2021, with Verizon as its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), but a Delaware Chancery Court put the brakes on that plan after T-Mobile sued based on a 2017 deal Cox entered into with Sprint, which T-Mobile acquired in April 2020.

Cox spent a reported $90 million laying the groundwork with Verizon, only to see things grind to a halt days before its planned mobile debut.

In March, the Supreme Court of Delaware reversed the lower court decision, “seeming to free it from its obligations to T-Mobile. However, when asked today which underlying network Cox Mobile would run on, a Cox spokesperson would say only, ‘Contractual obligations limit the extent we can discuss our MNO partner,’” Fierce Wireless reports.

Light Reading says the Cox Mobile deal is “believed to be with Verizon.”

Cox competitors are already doing business as MVNOs. Comcast’s Xfinity Wireless and Charter Communications’ Spectrum Mobile are both built on Verizon’s underlying wireless network. Both offer metered service as well as unlimited plans. Working with T-Mobile, 7-year-old Altice USA offers an MVNO service that it is in the process of rebranding as Optimum Mobile.

“Comcast, Charter and Altice USA collectively snagged 694,000 mobile subscribers in the second quarter 2022, a 26.2 percent jump from the 550,000 net adds the cable operators added in Q2 2021,” reports Fierce Video, noting, “the three cable operators ended the quarter with approximately 9.2 million mobile subscribers.”

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