Charter to Debut Gigabit Broadband
Charter Communications dropped a few technology tidbits into its recent Q3 call to analysts. Among the topics were activities and plans involving broadband and wireless/mobile.
On the broadband front, Charter CEO Tom Rutledge said that the company will introduce gigabit speeds using DOCSIS 3.1 “in several key markets” over the next couple of months. Rutledge didn’t offer any specifics on deployment timeline or price. He did add that Charter now offers speeds of 100 Mbps across more than 75% of its footprint, which while up from the 50% coverage the quarter before, is still significantly behind its rival Comcast.
Charter plans to eventually buy D3.1 modems exclusively, as the products are expected to cost about the same as D3.0 devices (D3.1 modems are hybrids that support spectrum used for D3.0 and D3.1 services). A white paper, “Full Duplex DOCSIS Technology over HFC Networks” by CableLabs’ Belal Hamzeh is available here.
The other tidbit provided on the call — Charter is going to activate its MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) agreement with Verizon Communications. The company is on track to launch a wireless service in 2018 using the MVNO agreement with Verizon that it inherited from the TWC deal.
Rutledge offered more color, as Charter expects to make that operational by the second quarter of next year and that field trials are underway with Charter employees.
We have an opportunity together to run the business more effectively from a back-office perspective,” he said, adding later that the use of WiFi in and out of the home will help Charter keep its MVNO-related costs in check.