Cox to shut down own wireless network, use Sprint

By PETER SVENSSON | May 24, 2011 | 5:43 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Cox Communications, the country's third-largest cable company, says it will shut down the wireless network it launched just seven months ago.

Cox had launched service in Oklahoma City; Hampton Roads, Va.; Omaha, Neb.; and Orange County, Calif. It says it will continue to sell cellphones and service on Sprint's network.

The network is one more false start for a cable company in the wireless world. Cox built and sold a wireless network in the '90s. It then started and folded a wireless consortium with Sprint Nextel Corp. and other cable companies in the last decade.

Cox spent $550 million to buy wireless spectrum rights for its latest endeavor and likely hundreds of millions more to build out the network.

Cox is privately held and based in Atlanta.