Cox is outsourcing the design and construction of its new 3G network to Berliner Communications Inc. (BCI), a service vendor that has been advising operators and building wireless networks for 14 years. BCI will help Cox with the unique task of building a CDMA network at 700 MHz, licenses that Cox won at last year’s FCC auction.
700 MHz primarily is being used to build long-term evolution and mobile TV networks around the country, so Cox will find itself by it’s lonesome in a highly-attractive mobile frequency, but one for which it will need to procure speciality handsets. Ultimately, though, Cox may find itself in larger company if it chooses to re-use that same spectrum for LTE.
In recent weeks, Cox has been gearing up its wireless operations, naming its executive team to run the new business. BCI may be the last piece in the puzzle, and it comes with some key business groups that may be of particular interest to Cox. Last year, BCI launched a cable services group, which focuses on using cable network resources to backhaul base stations. Cox has significant fiber resources in its markets, which it can use for its own transport, but using the cable plant itself to link cell sites may also be an option.