Feature Article

December 16, 2011

Cox Communications Sells Wireless Licenses to Verizon

Cox Communications has sold its advanced wireless services licenses to Verizon Wireless for $315 million only one month after shutting down its wireless division. Cox joins other major cable operators looking to dramatically shift the wireless business. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks, recently struck a deal to create a joint venture, SpectrumCo – only two weeks ago with Verizon.

Now, Cox and Verizon will become agents to sell each other’s residential and commercial services and products. The collective deal is very similar to the deal Verizon made for SpectrumCo, costing around $3.6 Billion.

Cox’s deal with Verizon to eventually resell Verizon LTE services to their cable subscribers as part of a quadruple play bundle, allowing customers that previously signed up with them through Sprint to remain until March 30, 2012.

Cox says they’ll participate in future Verizon LTE and cable content collaborations “to better integrate wireline and wireless products and services.”

Unlike the other cable companies, Cox had taken steps to use its spectrum, but it gave up on its plans to build a wireless network earlier this year, saying it couldn’t compete with bigger companies.

Privately held, Cox is the third-largest cable company in the United States with more than 28 million customers. The spectrum Cox’s is selling to Verizon is in the same frequency band as the licenses the other cable companies agreed to sell, which makes it easier for Verizon Wireless integrate it with its other services.

This deal could reduce head-to-head competition between Cox and Verizon’s FIOS TV and FIOS Internet in various markets. The deal helps Cox, which recently announced plans to end its wireless phone service – only offering a packaged deal called a Quadruple Play, which has digital video, high-speed Internet and landline and mobile voice services.

Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications, said the arrangements give his customers access to the LTE network. “We look forward to the many benefits this will bring to customers,” he said in a press release.

Esser continued by saying, “These agreements provide Cox customers with key enablers to mobility, such as access to Verizon’s Wireless’ 4G LTE network and iconic wireless devices,” said Esser.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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