Cox Communications is working with mPortal to enable a branded service that allows Cox's wireless customers to provision Cox Widgets on the idle screens of their mobile phones.

A spokeswoman for Cox said the new user experience was currently applicable on three handsets: the Kyocera Laylo, Kyocera Tomo and Kyocera G2GO.

The user interface allows Cox wireless customers to add or modify shortcuts on their handset homescreens, or idle screens. The shortcuts provide information on messaging status, e-mail, instant messaging, usage statistics and services on a near-real-time basis.

Customers can also add their preferences for widgets for near-real-time updates on news, sports, weather and other preferred information.

"The mobile user experience is another way to enrich and simplify our customers' lives, said Stephen Bye, vice president of wireless at Cox Communications. We are committed to enabling our wireless subscribers to enjoy an intuitive, feature-rich and personalized user experience on their devices.

Cox launched its own wireless service in three of its markets in November.

Cox is using mPortal's Springboard Smart Client and Content Delivery Manager products to create its branded, user-configurable homescreen and widget platform that runs Cox Widgets for its wireless subscribers.

According to mPortal, its Springboard Smart Client product powers an end-to-end mobile widget platform that runs on the idle screen of selected handsets, providing wireless subscribers with instant access to Internet content. Subscribers can personalize their handset with the widgets they use most and can also have instant access to device-related content such as instant messaging, message summary and missed calls directly from homescreen-based widgets.

Cable operators are committed to delivering a truly integrated content experience for subscribers and providing a more personalized mobile user experience to increase data and mobile content usage, said Sathiya Krishnan, co-founder and CTO of mPortal. While mPortal's Springboard solution is currently deployed on Cox's feature phone offerings, mPortal has solutions that span the spectrum of devices from feature phones to smartphones and tablets such as those from Apple and Android.

"Cox is also evaluating iPhone and Android devices as part of its overall portfolio of devices. It is expected that mPortal will be making announcements with some of its current and new customers about the work they are doing with smartphones and tablets."

In addition to downloading applications over the air, mPortal lets service providers push customized content directly to subscribers' homescreens based on their preferences.

Two years ago, mPortal teamed up with Comcast to develop a mobile application for Comcast's triple-play services on iPhone and iPad touch devices, while Time Warner Cable has also been using mPortal products and services to power its mobile initiatives.

MPortal's client list also includes Cricket Communications and Verizon Wireless.