updated 03:05 pm EST, Tue February 23, 2010
Company focusing on 3G network rollout in March
Cox Communications' Stephen Bye, vice president of wireless service, says tests of the company's Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G network technology reached peak speeds in the 25Mbps range. The tests, occurred in atypical conditions, employing a single user with a multiple-antenna setup at very close range. Toward the limit of the test cell's coverage, data rates dropped to 10Mbps. In real-life situations, data transfer would be shared between multiple users in the cell's range.
Cox is currently offering 3G wireless service in three test markets on Sprint's CDMA network, and is building its own 3G network using the same EV-DO technology. Cox plans to launch its network in March, and will continue to partner with Sprint for roaming coverage. The 3G standard has a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 14.7Mbs, but typically only reaches 1Mbps.
Bye called consumer appetite for data transfer "insatiable." He declared that the vast majority of that demand would continue to be met with wired solutions, even after 4G becomes available on the major carriers in coming months.
Cox holds licenses which would support 4G service on the network Sprint is building, using the WiMAX standard; however, as a third party it's not necessarily required to follow Sprint's path and should get higher speeds through LTE. AT&T is building its 4G network using LTE.
The introduction of Cox into the cellular space is likely to heat up relatively low competition as it will share the same standard as Verizon's upcoming 4G network as well as the 2011 deployments of AT&T and T-Mobile. [via Fierce Wireless]