Cox tests LTE wireless technology for voice and video over broadband

Cox Communications is successfully testing voice calling and HD video streaming over wireless networks in Phoenix and San Diego using fourth generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

Cox’s 4G technology and service trials are using the AWS and 700MHz spectrum that it acquired at FCC auctions in 2006 and 2008. The company spent more than $550 million for radio spectrum licenses to support its wireless plans, which include wireless broadband.

Cox said it chose Phoenix and San Diego due to the advanced technology-orientation of its residential and business customers, as well as the terrain and suburban density variances of their geographies. While Cox is testing 4G LTE technology, it is initially deploying wireless services using the 3G CDMA standard in Hampton Roads, VA, Orange County, CA, and Omaha, NE.

“We are encouraged by the success of the Phoenix and San Diego tests, which further validate our decision to pursue 4G based on LTE, specifically the 3GPP Release 8 standard,” said Stephen Bye, Cox’s vice president of the company's wireless division.

Collaborating with Cox in conducting the 4G trials and testing the wireless services and applications were Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei. The trial began in the final quarter of 2009 and continues.

Cox did not disclose when it expects to offer LTE-based services. LTE, which is the 4G wireless technology that has been picked by AT&T, Verizon Wireless and other carriers, is capable of delivering downlink speeds of more than 100Mb/s.

Cox is expected to release additional information on the LTE tests in a Feb. 18 session at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain.