Triple play packages of cable, internet, and land-line phones are standard fare for any cable company, but Cox is looking to shake things up. The company will add cell phone service, too -- making its offering a quadruple play.
Cox is working on building its own network for cell phone usage, but initially the network will be based off of a partnership with Sprint. That means that Cox customers will have access to Sprint's 3G network. The USA Today report also indicates that Cox is also testing 4G network technologies, although there is no word on whether 4G will be ready for the 2009 launch of Cox's cell phone services.
On the side of convenience, this is a huge plus. Having all of your services on one bill makes things much easier to manage. There's also the fact that Cox is planning for features such as using your cell phone to program your DVR while you are away, which would be incredibly helpful. Still, there are some possible problems with having all of your services on one bill. The more services that are on a single bill, the easier it is for a company to sneak in hidden charges. I've already seen enough hidden charges snuck onto my own cell phone bills, and it would be even harder to catch them if that same bill also had cable, internet, and land-line charges attached to it.
Having all of your services come from a single company is a huge convenience, but convenience usually comes at a cost. And so far we don't know what that cost will be.