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Target: Mobile Workers

3/30/2010 7:24 AM Eastern

Cox Communications has
built a billion-dollar business by
winning commercial customers
away from telco competitors. Now
it’s looking to take a bite out of
their wireless services as well.

The cable operator is gearing up
for a big push to sell wireless voice
and data services to small businesses
— in tandem with its consumer
wireless move — which
represents a $4 billion market opportunity
across the operator’s
footprint, said Cox Business senior
vice president Phil Meeks.

“Our data indicates that small
business customers aren’t satisfied
with their current carrier,”
Meeks said. He noted that incumbent
wireless carriers typically offer
small and midsize businesses
plans designed for consumers, with
features like free calling on nights
and weekends.

Initially, Cox Business’s wireless
offerings will be available in
the three markets — Hampton
Roads, Va.; Omaha, Neb.; and
Orange County, Calif. — where
the MSO has been testing its residential
mobile services. The business
services will follow shortly
after the consumer launch of Cox
Wireless, which the operator was
expecting this month.

For business customers, Cox
will introduce wireless plans in
two general categories, Meeks
said: one for “data-hungry” customers
that will include unlimited
data usage, and a basic voice
and data plan. He declined to
provide more details.

Cox has negotiated deals with
wireless handset manufacturers
for devices, which will be off ered
in both the business and consumer
side, but has not identified
partners on this front.

Cox will use Sprint Nextel’s
3G network in certain markets,
while it is building and operating
its own 3G CDMA network in others.
(Cox hasn’t specifi ed where it
is building its own wireless networks.)
The operator has spent
$550 million on wireless spectrum
in Federal Communications
Commission auctions.

Currently, Cox Wireless has
launched a trial in Omaha with
“friendly” customers, and the service
is successfully operating with
testers in Hampton Roads and Orange
County, Cox director of media
relations David Grabert said. The
services will be more widely available
in each market “very soon,” he
added.

“Per our normal approach in the
deployment of new services, we are
carefully evaluating the customer
experience and refining our processes
prior to wider deployment,”
Grabert said.

On the business side, Cox will
initially market the wireless services
to its existing base of 250,000
commercial customers, Meeks
said. “It’s easier to sell products
to customers you already have a
relationship with,” he said.

Cox Business is on track to hit
$1 billion in revenue for 2010 and
projects that sum will double to $2
billion by 2016, Meeks said. In addition
to wireless, the businessservices
group anticipates growth
this year in new managed services,
including “Session Initiation
Protocol trunking” for connecting
private Internet-protocol-based
phone systems to the public telephone
network.

QUICK HITS

Clearwire Tags Seven More
Cities for WiMax Service

KIRKLAND, WASH. — Clearwire,
whose backers include Comcast
and Time Warner Cable,
said it plans to launch WiMax
broadband wireless service in
Los Angeles, Miami, St. Louis,
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh
and Salt Lake City later
this year.

Today, Clearwire provides
WiMax service in 27 U.S. markets
and expects to cover up
to 120 million people by the
end of 2010.

Clearwire previously indicated
that new 4G markets
scheduled to launch in 2010
would include New York City,
Houston, Boston, Washington,
D.C., Kansas City, Denver, Minneapolis
and the San Francisco
Bay Area. Additional cities will
be announced later this year.
While Clearwire will launch service
in Houston in the next few
weeks, the majority of the new
4G markets will launch toward
the end of the year.

Clearwire is majority owned
by Sprint Nextel. Other investors
include Comcast, Time
Warner Cable,
Bright House Networks,
Intel and
Google.

Widevine, Verimatrix
Settle Patent Dispute

SAN DIEGO — Widevine Technologies
and Verimatrix, each
of which sell digital contentsecurity
solutions, reached an
agreement settling Widevine’s
patent-infringement lawsuit.

Financial terms of the agreement
weren’t disclosed. Under
the settlement, Widevine
granted Verimatrix a license
to the two asserted Widevine
patents and their foreign counterparts.
Verimatrix made no
admission as to infringement of
the patents.

Widevine had sued Verimatrix
in August 2007 in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern
District of Texas, alleging
Verimatrix’s VCAS infringed two
patents for selectively encrypting
content over a network.

September