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Cox to Flip Wireless Switch in Oklahoma

Cox Communications Inc. 's next wireless step will take place in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla. (See Cox Brings Wireless to Oklahoma .)

As with its mobile launches in Hampton Roads, Va.; Omaha, Neb.; and Orange County, Calif., Cox will lease access on Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s 3G CDMA network when it launches in Oklahoma during the first half of the year.

Cox is building out its own wireless network using its Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) and 700MHz spectrum won at auction. The MSO has not revealed when it intends to light that up, though it's already tapped into that capacity to conduct Long Term Evolution (LTE) trials in Arizona and San Diego.

In Oklahoma, Cox will be tangling with providers such as Verizon Wireless , which has included Oklahoma City in its initial LTE launch.

Cox will start off with nine retail locations for the Oklahoma launch, a spokeswoman said. Cox has 26 retail locations up and running in its other wireless markets.

Cox hasn't announced a launch date for Oklahoma but is urging consumers to register online.

Why this matters
The Oklahoma launch suggests Cox has ironed out some of the overarching complexities that caused it to delay its original mobile service introduction by about seven months.

Expect other MSOs to keep a close eye on Cox's wireless efforts. While Cox has chosen to largely go it alone, bigger Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) have opted to partner with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) for mobile broadband, although neither MSO has signaled a clear mobile voice strategy yet.

How successful Cox has been with bundling wireless with other cable services and comparative pricing package has been difficult to gauge so far. The privately held MSO doesn't reveal mobile subscriber numbers, but an official says the wireless service "has struck a positive chord with our customers and has been very well received in the markets we've launched already."

For more
For a glance at Cox's wireless moves so far, please check out:

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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