When Tony Krueck, Cox Communications’ vice president of wireless, made the very first call on the company’s new mobile phone service, his excitement may have rivaled cellphone inventor Marty Cooper.
Krueck was tapped to lead the 125-year-old cable operator’s return to the wireless industry with the launch of Cox Mobile, now available to its home internet customers nationwide.
“Cox Mobile is very similar to some of the other brands you’ve seen in the marketplace that are considered MVNOs, which is a mobile virtual network operator,” Krueck said.
“At this point, Cox has not gone out and built our own wireless network,” he continued. “We are partnering with other carriers to provide the wireless network itself. But all the other aspects of what it takes to be a wireless carrier is what we built inside of Cox to create Cox Mobile.”
You might remember when Cox dabbled in the wireless business more than a decade ago, Krueck said but shuttered quickly without the cohesive set of capabilities it has today, such as a robust Wi-Fi network.
When conditions were ripe for Cox wireless re-entry, Krueck was determined to create liftoff. For the first time in his 36-year career, he had the opportunity to build something from scratch. His background in the military doing satellite communications prepared him well and led to a fruitful profession in nearly all facets of wireless and wireline telecom environments.
“We started with a clean sheet of white paper and said, ‘What do we want this business to be?’” Krueck explained. “It’s pretty cool to build a new line of business but do it inside a larger company. It’s like being in a startup, but with a nice, warm security blanket.”
Developing a vision, value proposition and journey mapping hundreds of possible customer experiences produced a torrent of momentum that took Cox Mobile from design to launch in about three years. Beyond that, Krueck says, were go-to-market activities, sales readiness, marketing, training and 15 different partners that all had to do their part.
“There are so many different pieces to the puzzle, you can imagine after all that, to now be getting into market is pretty darn exciting,” Krueck said.
What’s next for Krueck and his team is bringing new product capabilities to light, such as making things more omnichannel as they expand.
“If a customer walks into a retail store versus our call center or does something online, all of the same capabilities and functions exist regardless of which channel they go,” Krueck said.
Cox Mobile customers have two high-speed data plans to choose from, with unlimited talk and text starting at $15 a month. Customers have access to 4G LTE and 5G coverage, as well as 4 million Cox Wi-Fi hotspots — the antidote to “can you hear me now?”
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