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Cox: We’re Selling Spectrum to Verizon Wireless

One month after shutting down its wireless division, Cox Communications has agreed to sell valuable spectrum to Verizon Wireless.

The two companies also have signed a deal to become agents that sell each other’s residential and commercial products.

First, Cox is selling its 20MHz Advanced Wireless Services spectrum licenses to Verizon Wireless for $315 million. The licenses cover 28 million points-of-presence. The sale does not include Coxs 700MHz spectrum licenses, which are for TV broadcasting, or Cox Wireless customer accounts or any other assets. The deal faces several regulatory approvals, including from the FCC.

At the same time, Cox and Verizon Wireless will sell each others residential and commercial products and services through their respective sales channels. At some point, Cox may be able to sell Verizon Wireless service on a wholesale basis. Cox further expects to enter into arrangements with the technology joint venture formed by Verizon Wireless, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to better integrate wireline and wireless products and services. Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications, said the arrangements give his customers access to the Verizon Wireless LTE network and “iconic” wireless devices.

We look forward to the many benefits this will bring to customers,” he said in a press release.

The announcements come a month after Cox said it would stop selling wireless service, but would continue to provide access through March 30, 2012. Cox dumped its 3G wireless service for a number of reasons: lack of wireless scale necessary to compete; the rapid development of its competitors’ 4G networks; and the tough road getting access to some of the industry’s best-known devices. Cox wireless service was available in less than half of the company’s total coverage area.

All in all, the news doesn’t seem to have impacted the indirect channel too much  many partners are just now starting to sell cable’s big-bandwidth services and wireless, through a cable operator, wasn’t really on their radar. However, if Cox starts offering wholesale Verizon wireless access, agents may be able to bundle that into a larger product package for business clients.


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