Cable Company Offers Wireless Phones - NBC 7 San Diego

Cable Company Offers Wireless Phones

Cox Communications expands San Diego business



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    San Diego residents may soon have the option of using Cox Communication for cell phone service.

    Cox Communications already has a foothold in thousand of San Diego homes, now they want to follow their customers when they are out the door.  Cox is now offering wireless service, competing with the likes of AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.

    "There will be bumps," said Cox Communications General Manager Dave Bialis, "but they will be small bumps...and then you end up with a better product."

    Cox learned from an attempt to get into the wireless market a few years ago but that didn't work out.  Now the cable giant is creating special Cox Solutions stores that look more like an Apple or Sony store.  The stores will sell phones and offer customer service.

    But trying to get noticed in the wireless business won't be easy for Cox.

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    "It's a very tough marketplace, this is a brutal business," said marketing consultant George Whalin.  Whalin says the biggest advantage Cox has over the other wireless companies is a built in customer base and the ability to bundle their services.

    Dave Bialis says they will offer bundle packages with the new wireless service, "You might get a free premium service, free unlimited long distance on your home phone, those kinds of things."

    The Cox phone service will also pay back customers for unused minutes, depending on the plan that could be as much as $20 a month.

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    The Cox phone plan will only be offered to people in their business area which makes up about 75% of the San Diego market.  However, since the phone coverage is handled by Sprint, the phones will work anywhere there is Sprint service.  The phones themselves come from popular manufacturers like HTC, Motorola and Samsung.  But George Whalin says it's not about the phones.

    "The telephone business is not a good business," said Whalin, "The deal is monthly fees.  It's the monthly charges and the cash flow in those things that is astonishing."