US cable operator Charter Communications stepped up its 5G efforts with moves to conduct a new series of tests in the 28GHz band.
In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Charter sought permission to conduct outdoor mmWave tests alongside Ericsson in Los Angeles, California. The company said it wants to use 25 units of experimental equipment from the vendor in the form of antennas mounted on hydraulic masts attached to trailers and vans. Charter requested 180 days for testing from 23 March to evaluate mmWave spectrum for 5G applications.
This isn’t the first time the company has dabbled in mmWave. In April 2017 Charter also applied to conduct 24 months of 28GHz tests with Ericsson in Florida, and in September announced a partnership with Samsung to run 28GHz 5G field trials across the US.
Earlier this year, a Charter representative told Mobile World Live the company is trialling “a number of wireless technologies in order to gain better insight into the capabilities of 5G and the ways in which the technology can be best incorporated alongside our existing network”. In a blog posted in January, Charter revealed it is testing 5G technologies in six US cities including Orlando, Florida; Reno, Nevada; Clarksville, Tennessee; Columbus, Ohio; Bakersfield, California; and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
3.5GHz efforts continue
Charter also doubled down on 3.5GHz testing with a fresh application to conduct outdoor fixed-wireless tests in Kentucky in September.
The operator was already testing 3.5GHz small cell technology through its Samsung partnership and in January told the FCC it plans to use the band “in conjunction with its Wi-Fi network to improve network performance and expand capacity to offer consumers a superior wireless service”.