updated 07:40 pm EST, Tue November 15, 2011
Exits business less than 1 year after launch
Cox Communications is exiting the wireless carrier business. Engadget has posted internal Cox email that indicate the cable, broadband, and long distance carrier will unveil as soon as Tuesday night that it will be getting out of the cellular business by the end of March. It would stop selling new cellphones and wireless service effective Wednesday.
Cox's foray into providing cellular services has been short-lived. The company launched its service less than a year ago. The Cox's strategy was to undercut the competition using an incentive program it called MoneyBack Minutes. The concept rewarded light users by allowing them to shed as much as $20 off of their monthly bills if they didn't use up all their talk time.
There were early indications that all was not going to plan. In May, less than six months after launch, Cox abruptly abandoned its self-run network infrastructure and began running over Sprint's CDMA network.
The company identified several reasons for its exit, including, "the lack of wireless scale necessary to compete in the marketplace, the acceleration of 4G networks, as well as the inability to access iconic wireless devices."
According to the email, although Cox will no longer sell 3G wireless services after tomorrow, it will continue to support its customers through the end of March cutoff.