Rumor is Cox, the cable television company, may be getting ready to re-enter the wireless marketplace. Let’s take a look at whether they will, and if they do, when and what kind of impact it will have on their company and for the wireless industry in general.
A decade ago, it seemed company after company was jumping into the wireless business. All the major Cable TV providers, Amazon.com, even Facebook seemed to suddenly jump in.
Then as quickly as they entered, they failed and exited just as fast. Now, it seems they are coming up to bat once again.
In recent years, Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile and Altice Mobile have re-entered the wireless marketplace. They are MVNO resellers. They do not own their own wireless network. They resell another wireless network service.
Amazon.com and Facebook have not really done much to re-enter wireless in any meaningful way. Yet anyway.
Now it seems Cox may be getting ready to follow Xfinity, Spectrum and Altice back into wireless. So far, as cable TV companies have re-entered wireless in recent years, Cox has been very quiet.
Cox sees wireless as defensive, not offensive move
It has taken Cox quite a long time to re-enter wireless. So, how successful will they be in the wireless space?
Because they are taking so long to get going, I don’t believe they see wireless as an offensive move. They don’t see it as a growth opportunity. If they did, I believe they would have already entered.
Instead think Cox sees wireless as a defensive move. This is true not only of Cox, but the entire cable TV industry.
You see, the traditional cable TV industry is shrinking. So, they see wireless as a way to tangle the customer up in a sticky bundle of services to slow the loss.
Sticky bundles can stabilize customer loss
That’s why cable TV companies are using this sticky bundle to stabilize that customer loss.
Another reason I think this is a defensive move is the cable TV companies are not nationwide competitors in wireless. Instead, they only offer wireless to their existing cable TV customers within their own region.
You see, cable TV companies never compete with each other. They compete with telephone companies and wireless companies and Internet companies, but not with each other.
Wireless is a missed opportunity to expand their business.
Cable TV never competes with each other
And they are not competing with their wireless service on a nationwide basis either.
Will that ever change? It should. After all, customers are finding alternatives faster than ever before. However, knowing the cable TV industry, I don’t see that happening.
That’s why I think they see wireless as a way to slow the losses the industry is experiencing with the new competition, they are facing from pay TV, IPTV, wireless TV and more. Today cable TV competes with AT&T TV, DirecTV, HULU, Amazon, YouTube and others.
Cable TV not competitive threat to wireless carriers
That’s also why I don’t see these cable TV wireless services being a real competitive threat to traditional wireless carriers. They do not own a wireless network. They are just resellers.
They are a new slice of the pie, but they are only interested in slowing their cable TV market share losses, not growing their business.
Cable TV companies are changing. Their primary service is not cable TV. Instead, it is high-speed Internet. That’s the number one service. Then they have other services under that like VoIP telephone, wireless telephone and of course cable TV.
Cable TV is changing; Their primary service is Internet
All that being said, I think it would be a good move for Cox to enter the wireless space. It would give them a sticky bundle and let them hang onto their customer base longer.
In fact, I think they should have already done so in recent years along with Xfinity, Spectrum and Altice. Better late than never.
Bottom line don’t expect this to be an offensive play. Rather, expect this to be a defensive play meant to help them slow traditional cable TV loss and become more competitive.