Neal Bloom from Fresh Brewed Tech and Hilliard Sumner from Cox Business during their fireside chat.
The first time Hilliard Sumner saw the Cox logo light up as the mobile service provider on his cellphone it was thrilling. Six months into the national launch of Cox Mobile, Sumner can’t help but reflect on the journey from concept to officially becoming an MVNO or mobile virtual network operator.
“Three years ago, it was just a spreadsheet,” Sumner said during a fireside chat with Neal Bloom of Fresh Brewed Tech to discuss connectivity and infrastructure tech at Cox Business Smarter Arizona event.
Some steps toward mobile that followed included mapping out various use cases, designing a customer-centric experience, sales development, and test markets, according to Sumner, Cox Communications’ assistant Vice President of Wireless Sales Strategy.
“We think of mobile or wireless as a product, but it truly is a business inside a business,” he said.
Sumner, whose career at Cox Communications began 22 years ago after responding to a classified ad and working in a Cox retail store directly with customers, said his sweet spot is figuring out how to sell, position, and get a product into the homes and hands of customers. Mobile customers now have access to high-speed data plans with unlimited talk and text starting at $15 a month — 4G LTE, 5G coverage, a network of 4 million Cox WiFi hotspots and a range of devices.
Sumner explained how maintaining trust and confidence with the home internet customers who now have access to mobile — nearly seven million across 18 states — is a high priority.
“Mobile is very different than cable,” Sumner said. “If your phone is broken or you can’t make a call, you’re not a happy camper. We are very intentional about getting it right.”
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Cox Mobile is a natural extension of Cox Communications’ services after 125 years as a reliable connectivity provider, from newspapers to the AI-derived word. This powerful infrastructure is the backbone that helped guide the company through the COVID-19 pandemic, acting as a catalyst for innovative thinking to solve connectivity challenges and reignite mobile.
Sumner said he takes pride in the company’s long standing presence and recognizes that staying power must be earned. “We ensure our customers have a reliable product and if something doesn’t work, we have your back,” he said.
The dynamic nature of the wireless industry requires Cox Mobile to remain agile and responsive, ready to adjust plans as necessary to meet customer needs and expectations. Looking ahead, Sumner shared that Cox Mobile aims to increase its market awareness, solidify its position as a sought-after wireless provider and explore partnerships to enhance its offerings.
The company’s intricate device roadmap outlines plans for introducing new devices, aligning with the release schedule of manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple. This strategy allows Cox Mobile to actively participate in the retail landscape, including major events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where they can offer attractive deals and extended hours to drive sales.
“Normally, Q4 is light,” Sumner said. “I think this year is going to be a little different and I’m looking forward to it.”
Interested in learning more about Cox Communications’ decision to reenter the mobile market? Connect with our friends at Cox Mobile and explore the company’s commitment to connectivity.