updated 02:50 pm EDT, Wed April 8, 2009
Cox Cell App Store
Cox Communications' upcoming cellular network may have an app store not unlike Apple's for the iPhone, the cable provider's wireless VP Stephen Bye said yesterday. He cautions that nothing is definitive but tells the Wall Street Journal that Cox is considering a central store for software to avoid a "comparative disadvantage" versus the iPhone and other phones and networks with simple, recognizable locations for software. Unofficially, the company is understood to already be tapping mPortal to develop such a store.
The fledgling carrier also hopes to differentiate itself from incumbents by using its familiarity with TV programming for cellphone video services, although how this would occur is uncertain. Outside of dedicated TV tuning services for specially-equipped phones, most cellular TV services involve low-quality streaming video that either involves short-form clips or else rebroadcasts and mobile-specific content. Bye argues that the improving quality of smartphones will improve the video experience.
Cox will be one of the first few truly significant new entrants into cellular service of the past few years when it launches later in 2009 and is poised to use CDMA and EVDO-based 3G networks like those of Sprint and Verizon at first, but eventually switch to LTE for 4G. It will not only get device and network similarity with AT&T but also let Cox focus more heavily on mobile apps and especially its TV service, as LTE has enough bandwidth to stream HD video clips.