Apparently unwilling to wait for WiMAX, Cox Communications is going to build its own 3G cell network, in-region. Out of region, they will strike a deal with Sprint-Nextel, and they are apparently planning to trial LTE. By contrast, Comcast seems to be planning WiMAX femtocells in a partnership with Clearwire. Cox's move seems to put them on a quite different path.
Cox of course has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on spectrum in its home region, so that they intend to use it shouldn't come as a big surprise. The idea seems clear enough. As a cable company with a deep footprint, Cox can inexpensively run fiber to the towers in its region where feasible and keep backhaul costs down. I think it is likely that they will also sell more backhaul to the same towers to other providers, getting more bang for their buck and entering the wholesale backhaul market in competition with the ILECs. The first customer, of course, would be Sprint, which has complained of the difficulty faced by non-ILECs in finding cost effective backhaul alternatives for future data requirements.
Cox is already aggressively targeting the business market, and when you add it all up, Cox seems to be ready to fill all the major telecom service niches within its service areas. But why not WiMAX instead of LTE? Probably because it will be a long while before either is anywhere near ubiquitous, and they want to offer 3G now.
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