A quadruple play of wireless phone service, cable TV, wired phone, and Internet service is being offered by Cox Communications. Using the 700-MHz spectrum it licensed from the Federal Communications Commission, Cox has become the first cable provider to provide its own cell-phone service. Cox will offer Android-based smartphones.
Move over, triple play deals. Cable company Cox Communications is offering a quadruple play of cable, wired phone, Internet -- and wireless.
On Friday, Cox launched its wireless mobile -phone service in Orange County, Calif.; Omaha, Neb.; and Hampton Roads, Va., which calls upon the 3G network in the 700-MHz spectrum that it licensed in the Federal Communications Commission auction two years ago. It's the first cable provider to provide its own cell-phone service.
The Unbelievably Fair Plan
Cox is also trying to be innovative in the kinds of deals it offers through Cox Wireless. It has named the mobile-phone and high-speed Internet service its Unbelievably Fair plan.
One of the "fair" offers, which Cox said was revealed by its market research, is called MoneyBack Minutes. The company will buy back unused minutes each month, up to $20, in a deal that Cox said is the first to be offered by a wireless carrier. This, it noted, is "a significant departure from the industry standard by which consumers lose unused minutes or carry them over from month to month with no monetary benefit."
Other "fair" approach by Cox is providing customers with free text-message Usage Alerts when the maximum number of monthly minutes and messages is getting close. It said this "'no surprises' service enables customers to adjust usage habits or upgrade rate plans to avoid overage charges."
Additionally, calls between Cox Wireless phones, or between a Cox Wireless phone and a Cox Digital landline, are free. Also free are upgrades for Cox customers when they transition from a bundled triple play to the quadruple. Upgrades include a free premium entertainment channel such as HBO or Showtime for Advanced TV customers, an upgrade from Preferred to Premier status for high-speed Internet customers, and the addition of unlimited domestic long-distance calling for Cox Digital landline customers.
'Help Simplify' Lives
Cox said some features that "help simplify customers' lives" will be included in many of the mobile devices it is offering. These include the ability to program a home DVR and see TV listings, a Universal Contact Manager, and a Voice Mail to Text app. The company also said many additional Cox-specific apps will soon be available for Android devices.
Wireless devices available through Cox include the Android-based HTC Desire, Motorola Milestone, LG Axis, HTC Hero, HTC Wildfire, and the BREW-enabled Samsung Messenger Touch and Samsung Profile.
According to industry analysts, two-thirds of Cox's current customers subscribe to more than one service, and a third take the triple play. There is an expectation that Cox could become an innovator in offering deals that apply to more than one screen, such as offering sports programming that is available on high-speed wireless devices as well as on cable TV.