Cox Hires VP Of Retail Leading Up To Wireless Launch

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Cox Communications, which expects to launch a mobile-phone service in the second half of 2009, announced the hiring of Tracy Nolan as vice president of retail.

Nolan (pictured, left), formerly chief operating officer of telecom-marketing firm ACN, will manage all retail operations and sales strategy for Cox's current products and emerging new wireless portfolio. Her responsibilities will include retail operations, selection strategy, promotions and inventory management.

"With the launch of wireless, Cox will aggressively expand its retail presence to allow customers to purchase our products and services in ways that are most convenient for them," Cox chief marketing officer Joe Rooney said in announcing Nolan's appointment. "Tracy has global experience in strategic planning, channel development, organizational transformation and the wireless industry."

Nolan also served as the manager of stores for Frontier Cellular, acquired by Bell Atlantic in 1999. She eventually became regional president of Verizon Wireless for Illinois/Wisconsin. Most recently, she served as president and CEO of business consulting firm T.E.N. Management Solutions.

Cox's planned mobile phone service is something of a relaunch.

Initially, the MSO will bring the service to market in partnership with Sprint Nextel, the carrier that was part of the failed Pivot venture with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. In March 2008, two and a half years after the joint venture was formed, Cox and the other MSOs pulled the plug and stopped selling the mobile-phone service.

What's different now, Cox has claimed, is that while it will wholesale network access from Sprint, the cable company will control every aspect of the service, from billing and customer support to handsets and features.

So far the third-largest U.S. cable operator has spent some $550 million on wireless spectrum licenses in Federal Communications Commission auctions and is building out its own 3G CDMA network in parts of 15 states.

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