Executives at US-based cable operator Charter Communications noted the company is exploring wireless opportunities outside a deal with Verizon to launch an MVNO service in 2018.
During its Q3 earnings call, Charter CEO Tom Rutledge reported the MVNO service is set to rollout in Q2 2018 and pre-launch tests are underway. Rutledge added the company is “also doing other kinds of wireless testing” unrelated to the Verizon MVNO venture.
In particular, Charter is eyeing use of a combination of licensed and unlicensed (Wi-Fi) spectrum to hit symmetrical 10Gb/s speeds and offer new services on its wireless and wireline networks. Charter currently offers video and internet services to nearly 27 million residential and business customers.
“We think that there’s a tremendous opportunity not just to have a MVNO and a mobile business, but to create new products in a fixed environment,” Rutledge explained: “So we’re going down the path in investing in our network for a future that we see as very bright, which is high-capacity wireless attached to high-capacity wireline.”
First things first
Charter’s MVNO launch in 2018 comes in the context of an agreement the company recently signed with Comcast to cooperate on mobile ventures. Both companies have MVNO agreements with Verizon, and Comcast launched its Xfinity Mobile wireless service in May. Comcast’s service now has around 200,000 subscribers, and Charter is taking note.
“We’ve learned a lot from them,” Rutledge said: “We’re using their experience today to make our [wireless] experience and our customer service experience better.”