Some pundits may think Cox Communications is playing defense by getting into the wireless service business, but that doesn’t seem to be the way things are shaping up, with Cox having already held a trial of high-def video and IMS-based calling on an LTE (4G) network.
Cox rolled out its wireless service using the current 3G technology. The announcement about trialing HD on a 4G network was short on details but seems designed to counter the perception among some analysts that Cox in particular – and cable companies in general – are getting into wireless merely to match the bundle provided by Verizon and AT&T, charges addressed yesterday by vice president of wireless Stephen Bye.
Two of Cox’s key vendors, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei, got into the act today. Both said they are trialing their respective Long Term Evolution technology using Cox's AWS spectrum and 700 MHz spectrum, acquired during the FCC’s 2006 and 2009 auctions, respectively.
Cox called the trial a success, and a Cox spokesman confirmed that the company had successfully transmitted HD video over the network, but the company provided few other details beyond some specifics about the equipment used.
A-L said it provided for the trial an end-to-end LTE solution including base stations (eNodeB's), Evolved Packet Core (EPC), IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and a wide array of professional services.
Ken Wirth, A-L’s president of LTE/4G solutions, said: "Currently, Alcatel-Lucent is actively engaged in some of the most significant LTE deployment projects announced to date, now including Cox Communications. We look forward to helping Cox expand its service offerings to deliver a mobile broadband capability and expand the availability of sophisticated multimedia services and content to its subscribers, wherever they are."
Huawei, meanwhile, touted its SingleRAN solution, which supports network multi-mode convergence and evolution while reducing total costs of ownership for operators. Huawei also has an end-to-end LTE portfolio.