Cox joins Comcast and Charter in attacking T-Mobile's FWA
Cox Communications, America's third-largest cable company, is apparently feeling the heat from T-Mobile. The company confirmed to Light Reading it is running advertisements to counteract the rise of T-Mobile's fixed wireless access (FWA) offerings.
Cox's newest effort "is indicative of the heightened competition for broadband customers in our markets. We'll continue to make consumers aware of the advantages of Cox Internet compared to other competitors," Cox's Todd Smith wrote in response to questions from Light Reading.
A new Cox ad warns that T-Mobile's FWA service is "just phone Internet, not home Internet," and argues that it's not as fast or as reliable as Cox's cable Internet service.
According to Wave7 Research, which first reported on Cox's ads, the cable company has been running the ad thousands of times across its cable footprint.
At issue is the brewing ad war between wireless companies like Verizon and T-Mobile and cable companies like Cox, Comcast and Charter. Broadly, Verizon and T-Mobile are hoping to use their new 5G-powered FWA services to cut into the market for home broadband services that has long been dominated by the nation's cable providers.
And during 2022, FWA providers have been impressively successful in their efforts. One estimate found that Verizon and T-Mobile accounted for 95% of all broadband net customer additions in the US in the third quarter.
Further, a new report from T-Mobile on the state of the FWA market in the US found that 51% of the company's FWA new customers are coming from cable providers. "T-Mobile and Verizon are expected to have 11 to 13 million total FWA customers by the end of 2025," added T-Mobile.
As a result, cable companies like Comcast are striking back. "Our Internet isn't ideal," complains one character in a Comcast ad, of T-Mobile's FWA service. Charter too has issued complaints against T-Mobile's FWA ads with the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs, an advertising arbiter.
The latest: T-Mobile announced Monday that it's launching a new "Make Xfinity Your Ex" advertising campaign, and will give Comcast customers up to $750 to break their contract with the cable operator.
The Cox factor
Cox, for its part, is just now wading into the brewing battle between the wireless industry and the cable industry.
After several delays, Cox launched mobile services in August via an MVNO agreement that is likely with Verizon. The cable company's mobile services are only available to Cox's Internet customers.
As Light Reading recently reported, Cox has been expanding its mobile effort with an eye toward providing mobile services across its entire cable footprint by the end of the year. Cox also appears to be planning to build its own small-scale wireless network, a strategy Comcast and Charter have discussed as well.
Cox Mobile provides unlimited talking and texting, but customers must pick data for either $15 per month for every 1 GB consumed or unlimited data for $45 per month.
Broadly, Cox is hoping to please existing customers, and gain new ones, by bundling wireless services with its existing home Internet offerings. Conversely, T-Mobile and Verizon are hoping to please existing customers, and gain new ones, by bundling their existing wireless services with new FWA offerings.
- Comcast ad campaign takes aim at T-Mobile FWA
- Did FWA already peak in the US?
- Cox firms up mobile prices, expands coverage and preps 5G network
— Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano