Cox launches its own wireless service with "Unbelievably Fair" plansAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
A few months back, a Sprint HTC Hero running on "Cox" was leaked out, and we've been waiting for the company to make its wireless service official ever since. Today Cox did just that, announcing that they would be entering the wireless market with its "Unbelievably Fair" plans and a handful of smartphones, feature phones, and a USB modem. Cox Wireless will initially be available in three markets (Hampton Roads, VA, Omaha, NE, and Orange County, CA) and will initially use Sprint's 3G network, although Cox is planning to build out its own network. The highlights of the "Unbelievably Fair" plans include MoneyBack Minutes, which gives customers up to $20 per month back for their unused minutes, and alerts to help avoid overages. Pricing includes voice plans that start a 450 minutes for $39.99, while there are unlimited data plans available for $30 and individual messaging plans ranging between $5 and $20. What kind of hardware can you expect to use with these "Unbelievably Fair" plans? The first wave of handsets include the HTC Desire, Motorola Milestone, HTC Hero (Sprint's model), LG Axis, Samsung Messager Touch, and a few other dumb phones and feature phones. Check out the full press release below.
While the actual pricing of Cox's plans doesn't seem terribly impressive, the idea of getting money back for minutes that you don't use is a pretty novel idea. I only use maybe 80 or 90 of my 550 minutes per month, and I'm sure a lot of other people are in the same situation, so it would be nice to get $10 or $20 back per month for those minutes. AT&T's Rollover Minutes can be nice for the right person, but I have a feeling that a lot of people would prefer to get discounts on their bill rather than pile up minutes that they'll never use. It's also cool to see that there are three Android phones available right off the bat, even if the Milestone and Hero are more than a little outdated at this point. At least they have the Desire, which is still a pretty relevant device, and the Axis, which looks like Cox's version of the new LG Apex. So, would any of you consider switching to Cox and their "Unbelievably Fair" plans?
Cox Unveils Unprecedented 'Unbelievably Fair(SM)' Wireless Plans, Bringing More Value to the Bundle
MoneyBack Minutes(SM) and Free Usage Alerts(SM) Reduce Wireless "Gotchas;" Customers Enjoy Bundle Benefits(SM) - Faster Internet, Free Premium Channel or Free Long Distance
ATLANTA, Nov. 19, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Cox Communications today unveiled its "Unbelievably Fair" mobile phone and high-speed Internet service throughout Hampton Roads, Va., Omaha, Neb. and Orange County, Calif. The addition of wireless to Cox's existing bundle of video, Internet and landline telephone services brings an unprecedented value proposition to consumers and introduces greater ease in integrating home and mobile services.
Today, Cox builds on its long history of innovation and customer service excellence with the launch of Cox Wireless. The company's market research revealed that consumers wanted a more fair approach to wireless and Cox is responding with MoneyBack Minutes. Cox is the first wireless carrier to provide cash back on customers' bills for unused minutes each month – up to $20 a month – a significant departure from the industry standard by which consumers lose unused minutes or carry them over from month-to-month with no monetary benefit.
"Wireless consumers have long been underserved on customer service," said Stephen Bye, Cox's vice president of wireless. "With our customer-centric approach, we're delivering much more than excellent network coverage and call quality. We went a step further by introducing new services and features to the Cox bundle that were built on fairness. Plus, with a robust portfolio of devices, a nationwide 3G network and award-winning customer service customers have come to expect from us, Cox delivers on the most important attributes of wireless service."
Cox's in-depth consumer research found that consumers are frustrated with surprise overage charges on their monthly bills. To further its commitment to delivering a more fair approach to wireless spending, Cox Wireless automatically provides customers with free text message Usage Alerts when they approach their maximum number of monthly minutes and messages. This "no surprises" service enables customers to adjust usage habits or upgrade rate plans to avoid overage charges. Cox also makes it easy to save minutes by providing free Mobile-to-Mobile and calling between the customer's Cox Digital Telephone and Cox Wireless phone.
To further sweeten the reward for existing customers, Cox's bundled customers can choose one free upgrade when they add Cox Wireless. With Bundle Benefits, Advanced TV customers can choose a free premium entertainment channel such as HBO, Showtime, Starz or Cinemax or Cox Movie Pak, which includes Encore, Epix, Sundance and Vutopia; high-speed Internet customers can upgrade from Preferred to Premier; or home telephone customers can add unlimited domestic long distance calling on their Cox Digital Telephone service.
"Cox's early entry to the telecommunications space has served it extremely well," stated Irene Berlinsky, senior research analyst with IDC. "Two-thirds of Cox's customers subscribe to multiple services, and a full one-third take all three currently-available services. With the addition of wireless services, Cox has devised an approach that is a natural extension of its bundle, providing value and simplicity which should resonate with consumers. An integrated wireless play also gives Cox the opportunity to lay the foundation for next-generation multi-screen innovation."
With the arrival of Cox Wireless, mobile solutions are now available at the recently unveiled Cox Solutions Stores. At the heart of the in-store experience is the Learning Lounge, a comfortable area where a friendly and knowledgeable Solutions Educator is available to help customers get the most from their wireless device and mobile experience as well as other Cox products and services, such as programming your DVR from multiple devices.
"Throughout the Solutions Store, customers learn how easy it is to use many of the features and services of Cox Wireless, leaving with personalized knowledge that makes them feel excited and empowered in the wireless world," stated Tracy Nolan, Cox's vice president of retail. "The retail experience provides complete entertainment and communications solutions, providing the convenience of one-stop-shopping and making it easy for consumers to see the 'wow!' of integrating Cox products and services."
From Android™ enabled smartphones to feature-packed devices with BREW applications, Cox Wireless's portfolio of devices will meet the needs of every customer and continue to expand. Several of the devices were recently selected by Mashable.com as "hot electronics this [holiday] season." The devices available this holiday season* include:
HTC Desire™, an Android enabled touch smartphone with WiFi, 1 GHz processing speeds and HTC Sense™ interface
Motorola Milestone™, an Android enabled smartphone with WiFi, Qwerty slider keyboard, advanced processor with 3G speed, 3.7-inch screen and 5-megapixel camera
LG Axis™, an Android enabled smartphone with 3.2" (480x 800) touchscreen and slide out QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi and 3.0 MP camera which support panoramic shots
HTC Hero™, an Android enabled smartphone with WiFi and 3.2-inch touch screen
HTC Wildfire™ , an Android enabled smartphone with WiFi featuring app-sharing widget that works on Twitter, texts or email with a 3.2-inch touch screen
Samsung Messager Touch™, Brew enabled multimedia device featuring a 2.6-inch touch-screen, QWERTY keypad, pre-loaded widgets and 100 MB of storage
Samsung Profile™ , stay connected on the go with this 3G messaging platform on a BREW operating system. Includes a QWERTY keyboard with 2.4" screen and 2.0MP camera
Plus, several other feature phones and the Cox 3G U210 On-the-Go(SM) Modem, for Cox High Speed Internet On-the-Go(SM)
To help simplify customers' lives, the Cox Wireless experience will debut with popular Cox features already integrated into many of the mobile devices, such as the ability to program the home DVR and see TV listings from their mobile device. Similarly, Cox customers with an Android device can easily download the Cox Remote Guide Access app from the Android Market to also program their home DVR and see TV listings from their mobile device. This app marks the beginning of many Cox apps that will soon be available to provide greater convenience and mobility for Cox features and services. Additional features to simplify customers' lives include Universal Contact Manager to securely manage, backup and organize all Cox High Speed Internet and Cox Wireless contacts in one place; and Voice Mail to Text which converts voice mail messages to text and delivers them to the Cox Wireless device as a text message, giving customers the freedom to read messages and respond without ever dialing. Cox will continue to enrich and evolve its wireless experience by adding new features and services to enjoy while on-the-go.
For more information about Cox Wireless service and details on devices and all rate plans, including images and videos, visit www.unbelievablyfairwireless.com or www.cox.com (choose Hampton Roads, Va., Omaha, Neb., Orange County, Calif.)
Social Media: #CoxWireless, #UnbelievablyFair, #MoneybackMinutes, #BundleBenefits, #CoxSolutionsStores, #StephenBye, #TracyNolan
*Timing may vary