US cable company Charter Communications sought permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to trial 5G technology at 37GHz, ahead of a planned auction of licences in the band.
In a filing, the operator said it wants to “test and evaluate 37GHz mmWave 5G in a non-standalone operation,” with an LTE anchor running on 2.1GHz spectrum co-owned by the FCC, along with Dish Network’s fallow 600MHz airwaves.
It requested a trial period of 180 days, beginning 1 August, with operations taking place in Colorado Springs.
The company said the tests would advance its understanding of the next-generation technology and “network potential in the mmWave bands, and will advance the potential deployment of 5G fixed and mobile services”.
This isn’t Charter Communication’s first look at mmWave: it previously dabbled in both the 28GHz and 32GHz bands. However, its exploration of 37GHz comes ahead of an FCC auction of 37GHz, 39GHz and 47GHz licences scheduled to begin in December.
The operator’s Spectrum Mobile brand currently offers wireless service via an MVNO agreement with Verizon. But Wells Fargo Securities senior analyst Jennifer Fritzsche noted it may look to move away from that partnership as Verizon’s fixed wireless efforts increasingly infringe on its traditional broadband business.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back