updated 10:10 am EDT, Mon May 5, 2008
Cox 700MHz Network
Wins by Cox Communications during the recent 700MHz auction will let the company set up its own wireless data network, Cable Digital News says. The cable provider successfully obtained licenses in the frequency range that essentially overlap its existing markets, allowing it to switch on a wide-area broadband service that can handle all of its customers. The service is most likely to be based on 700MHz WiMAX and operate on platform-agnostic level that doesn't require locked devices.
The network may draw on collaborations with Sprint and its upcoming Xohm WiMAX service, as Cox is already part of a joint venture for cable service with the telecoms provider. However, Sprint's existing service typically operates on much higher frequencies and so wouldn't be directly compatible with a future Cox mobile Internet platform.
A move by Cox into wireless would signal the second major shift into wireless believed to be underway by a US cable provider, with a potential Comcast service also using WiMAX unveiled as soon as this week. These providers are commonly known to be using the auction as an attempt to branch out into fields they have previously been denied and compete more directly against all-encompassing rivals such as AT&T and Verizon, who offer Internet, phone, TV, and wireless services.
The Intel-created WiMAX standard is expected to feature prominently in the Centrino 2 notebook platform this June and will lead to multiple prominent notebook makers, including ASUS, building WiMAX into notebooks to allow multi-megabit Internet connections at long ranges.