Charter Communications beat cable rival Comcast to the 5G punch, offering next-generation access on its Spectrum Mobile MVNO service, despite limited coverage and questions about the supply of compatible handsets.
Service is being offered to customers on Spectrum Mobile’s $45 per month unlimited tariff at no additional charge, however those on the company’s by-the-gig plan will not be able to access 5G.
Initial coverage using mmWave spectrum will be available in a handful of cities, including parts of New York; Charlotte, NC; Dallas; and Los Angeles, though the company noted MVNO partner Verizon plans to add broader high-band and new low-band coverage later in 2020.
Charter Communications is offering a selection of three 5G-compatible devices from Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 line. But it is possible supply of those handsets could become constrained, after the appearance of new Covid-19 (coronavirus) cases repeatedly forced Samsung to shut down production facilities in South Korea.
Earlier this month, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis warned continued production delays at factories in areas hit hard by the virus could dent operator equipment revenue.
Charter Communications’ 5G rollout comes ahead of an expected move by Comcast, which also offers mobile service through an MVNO deal with Verizon: in February it outlined plans to launch 5G data packages “soon”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back