Charter, Samsung Team on 5G, 4G LTE Trials

Shedding more light on Charter Communications’s wireless activity, the MSO and Samsung Electronics announced Tuesday that they are working together on 5G and 4G LTE lab and field trials in various U.S. locations.

They said the 5G trial is trying out fixed use cases that use Samsung’s pre-commercial 28 GHz (mmWave) system and devices, while the 4G trials are running at 3.5 GHz (CBRS, licensed spectrum), using Samsung’s small cell technology in an outdoor environment to evaluate mobile use cases, they said.

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Charter, which has activated its MVNO agreement with Verizon Communications, announced some details about its 5G test ambitions in February, noting then that it would possibly launch a mobile/wireless product in 2018.

Charter applied for experimental licenses to test 5G late last year. RCR Wireless News reported earlier this year that Charter was also working with Ericsson for 5G trials scoped out in Florida.

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Samsung said it’s one of the companies selected by Charter and the company progresses towards its MVNO launch sometime next year.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Samsung on these trials, which provide Charter better insight into how our advanced, powered,  high speed network—which currently passes 49 million homes and businesses—can be used to enable 5G services,” Craig Cowden, SVP, wireless technology at Charter, said in a statement. “In addition, as we move closer to the launch of a Spectrum wireless service in 2018, our work with Samsung on trials of 4G small cell technology will support our overall wireless strategy.”

“As a pioneer in small cell networks technologies, Samsung is excited to partner with Charter as they evaluate their next-generation 5G and 4G wireless network technologies,” added Mark Louison, SVP and General Manager, Networks, Samsung Electronics America. “These projects, with communications leaders such as Charter, will continue to lay the foundation for future business models and customer applications that tap the full potential of both 4G LTE and 5G.”

Samsung and Charter timed the announcement with this week’s Mobile World Congress Americas show in San Francisco.

Samsung also introduced a new small cell product portfolio for home, enterprise and outdoor service scenarios that will support CBRS (up to 150 MHz of shared spectrum in 3.5 GHz), Licensed Assisted Access (LAA), as well as a cloud managed service for deployment of small cell products.