Cable TV Company Plans Wireless Network

Cox Communications announced Monday that it plans to have its own cellular network up and running next year, the Associated Press reports, in a move that will put added pressure on phone companies.

This wasn’t entirely a surprise: “Cox had signaled an interest in building a wireless network by spending $550 million on licenses to use the airwaves. But such spectrum purchases don’t always lead to the building of a network, and privately held Cox hasn’t previously detailed its plans.”

Cox plans to build wireless networks in each of the areas it currently services with cable TV—including San Diego, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Omaha—and then will join up with Sprint-Nextel to contract out bandwidth for the rest of the country.

The move will give Cox a complete broadband package that includes television, home broadband, VoIP phone service, and now wireless service, pitting it against AT&T and Verizon.