Charter Plans To Launch Wireless Service In 1st Half Of 2018

October 29, 2017 - Written By Manny Reyes

Charter Communications has once again reaffirmed its commitment to debut the American telecommunications firm’s wireless service in the first half of 2018, with the goal to employ various strategies as a mobile virtual network operator by that time. According to Tom Rutledge, the company’s chief executive officer who announced the plan during its quarterly earnings call on Thursday, Charter Communications will use its MVNO agreement with Verizon, a partnership that arose from Charter Communications’ acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks earlier last year, to achieve that goal.

The Stamford, Connecticut-based telecoms company intends to take a different approach in diving into the wireless service market by first adopting a Wi-Fi first MVNO strategy before Charter Communications finally starts building its proprietary mobile network. In a recent filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Charter stated that it is incorporating Wi-Fi with various 4G and 5G connectivity systems in a bid to add support for full mobility to the wireless component of the company’s network, changing it from being a “nomadic Wi-Fi network” only. Charter has been pushing for the release of a 3.5 GHz spectrum by the FCC and the company intends to use that spectrum for both licensed and unlicensed business models, although the rules and regulations over that spectrum have yet to take a formal shape.

Charter Communications last year began to aim its sights at becoming a wireless services provider nationwide by using Verizon’s wireless network. The largest mobile network carrier in the United States inked an agreement with SpectrumCo, which comprises Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Comcast, and Cox, in 2011 to buy AWS-1 spectrum, and the deal in return gave those companies the authority to use Verizon’s wireless network should they decide to transition into being an MVNO. Charter’s latest move follows in the footsteps of its biggest competitor, Comcast, which already took advantage of the same MVNO deal with Verizon by recently launching its own Xfinity Mobile offering. After all, the company spent tens of billions of dollars to purchase Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, so it is not entirely surprising that the company finally jumps in on the wireless services market as an MVNO.