Eager to stay on the top of mind in the discussion about next-generation 5G networks, Charter has released a statement lauding the FCC’s Notice of Inquiry that seeks to identify underutilized midband spectrum bands and reallocate them for commercial purposes.
“The new inquiry will ask questions about how to use midband spectrum between 3.7 GHz and 24 GHz, and will be crucial for those of us working to develop wireless technology to efficiently and effectively deliver ultrafast, low-latency broadband for consumers,” Charter said in a Thursday afternoon blog post.
“Currently, we’re testing licensed small cell technology in the neighboring 3.5 GHz band which will put us on the path to provide 5G connectivity to our customers,” the cable company added. “We also anticipate these tests will help define how our network can be used to provide multi-gigabit wireless broadband services to businesses and homes located in harder to serve, more rural parts of the country.”
Of course, the messaging communicates to investors that Charter is taking steps to migrate to a converged wireless future all on its own. It comes several days after Charter rebuffed an overture from SoftBank to merge with the Japanese tech conglomerate's U.S. wireless holding, Sprint.
It's certainly not the first time Charter has told investors it's experimenting with 5G.
In May, Charter Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge said his company continues to experiment with high-frequency, high-capacity, low-latency “5G” wireless network technologies, calling small cell connectivity to the MSO’s network “our future and our current state.”
“We think that speeds will continue to increase in the home and in the workplace,” he said. “If we need to put that in a mobile environment, our plant lends itself to that in the long run.
“Those kinds of 5G opportunities are years away,” Rutledge added, “and they’re certainly even further away on a market-wide deployment perspective. But we’re using our experimental licenses to test our capabilities across the spectrum.”