Bright House Pivots in Orlando; Cox Hits New England

Bright House Networks Tuesday began selling Pivot mobile phone service, provided through Sprint Nextel, in its central Florida division.

Cox Communications, meanwhile, this week began offering Pivot in its New England division, which provides service in Rhode Island and parts of Connecticut. The operator also offers wireless service in Oklahoma, Phoenix and San Diego.

Of the four cable companies that are part of the Sprint joint venture, Bright House was the last to roll out Pivot. In central Florida, Bright House serves about 800,000 customers in a nine-county area.

The other three members -- Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox -- have launched their versions of the wireless service in about one-dozen markets after initiating trials late last year. Sprint and the cable companies expect to offer Pivot in 40 markets by the end of 2007.

Bright House’s Pivot service follows the same general pricing scheme offered by the other three operators, which range up to $199.99 for unlimited usage. Multimedia features, including access to live TV channels, cost an additional $15-$25 per month.

However, the starting 200-minute plans from Comcast and Bright House are $33 per month, whereas Time Warner’s and Cox’s are set at $29.99.

None of the Pivot plans costs less than Sprint’s own monthly plans, departing from cable’s practice of offering a discount to triple-play subscribers.

Sprint and the cable operators have argued that the Pivot mobile-phone services provide additional value not available through stand-alone Sprint accounts, such as unlimited calling between a mobile phone and a cable customer’s digital-phone service.