Cox Fires Up 3G Wireless In Northern Virginia, Roanoke

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As it promised, Cox Communications has launched wireless voice and data service in its Northern Virginia and Roanoake regions, offered over Sprint Nextel's 3G network.

Cox kicked off an ad campaign in those markets last month, leading with its "Unbelievably Fair" marketing message, which emphasizes a money-back feature for unused minutes.

Cox Wireless campaign

"Our customers tell us every day that they would like to add wireless service to their Cox bundle," Cox vice president of wireless products and operations Kelly Williams said."We are very excited to bring our fair approach to wireless to consumers in Roanoke and Northern Virginia. We've taken a unique approach to add extra value to our wireless offer and it's resonating with consumers." 

Currently, Cox Wireless also is available in Hampton Roads, Va., Orange County, Calif., Omaha, Neb., Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., Rhode Island, Connecticut and Cleveland, Ohio. The MSO plans to introduce wireless service in San Diego and Santa Barbara, Calif., and many of the communities it serves in Topeka and Wichita, Kansas and Northwest Arkansas later this year, which will bring mobile voice and data to more than 50% of its footprint.

Major Cox markets that aren't on the wireless docket this year include Phoenix, Las Vegas and New Orleans.

In May, the cable operator announced it will decommission the 3G wireless networks it was building in a few markets. Instead, Cox will focus on rolling out wireless voice and data service via its wholesale agreement with Sprint Nextel. Cox executives have indicated that it's more cost-effective to purchase 3G network access on a wholesale basis, but they have said they are keeping their options open with respect to 4G.

In addition to the MoneyBack Minutes feature -- cash back on customers' bills for unused minutes each month -- Cox offers a free upgrade to customers who bundle two or more services, such as a free premium channel or Movie Pak, high-speed Internet upgrade, free unlimited long distance with Cox Digital Telephone service or earlier unlimited weeknight calling on Cox Wireless.