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3G/HSPA

Cox Finds Friends for 3G Wireless Trials in Omaha

Cox Communications Inc. has launched 3G wireless services to paying "friendly" customers in Omaha, Neb., and continues to operate mobile services with testers in its Hampton Roads, Va., and Orange County, Calif., systems as it creeps closer to a broader launch.

Cox, the nation's third-largest cable MSO, noted in January that it expects to start offering 3G wireless services in March 2010, coupling that announcement with a teaser campaign promising "unbelievably fair wireless plans." In the early going, Cox plans to introduce wireless services in the three aforementioned markets, where it serves about 1.45 million cable subs. (See Cox: Wireless Coming in March .)

Cox isn't saying how many friendlies are on board in Omaha or how much they are paying. (Its Omaha-specific phone service Web page makes no mention of the wireless service.) It also declines to reveal its pricing plans or which handsets will be offered with those services, though we've seen some hints. And it's likely Cox won't be saying much more until after it gets mobile services commercially deployed in its initial set of markets.

"Per our normal approach in the deployment of new services, we are carefully evaluating the customer experience and refining our processes prior to wider deployment," a Cox spokesman told Light Reading Cable via email. "The service will very soon be more widely available in each of our three initial markets."

Cox is building out its own wireless network but is complementing coverage using Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s 3G network. Cox is also making plans to bridge over to Long Term Evolution (LTE). (See Cox Wireless: Soup to Nuts and Cox Pivots Back Into Mobile Services .)

Cox is already conducting LTE tests in San Diego and Phoenix using its own 700MHz and Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum. Cox VP of wireless services Stephen Bye supplied some of the results so far, in a presentation given at the recent Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona. He noted that the MSO achieved peak download speeds in the range of 25 Mbit/s when a single user was near the cell site.

Here's a snapshot of how those tests stacked up, according to a slide provided to Light Reading Cable.

Testing LTE

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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