STAMFORD, Conn.— Charter Communications will soon test 5G systems in the state of Florida, based on recent FCC documents. The company will be working with Ericsson to trial experimental radio technology at dozens of sites across the state, according to rcrwireless.com.
In April, Charter filed an application to test “experimental radio services,” using frequencies ranging from 27.5 GHz to 28.35 GHz, the so-called millimeter wave spectrum. Twenty-five pieces of equipment manufactured by Ericsson will operate in 53 locations including Orlando, St. Cloud, Kissimmee and Ocala.
Verizon didn’t participate in the just-ended incentive auction, and hasn’t shown much interest in acquiring more 600 MHz spectrum. Recent events, however, may explain the company’s strategy.
Straight Path announced May 11 it had inked “a definitive merger agreement” that will see the nation’s top wireless service provider (Verizon Wireless) pay roughly $3.1 billion in an all-stock transaction, ending an aggressive bidding war with AT&T for the company’s spectrum, according to fiercewireless.com.
“Verizon surprised analysts earlier this year when it sat out of the FCC’s incentive auction of 600 MHz spectrum despite qualifying to bid in the event. But the Straight Path deal illustrates how much the value of millimeter-wave airwaves has increased as carriers begin to prioritize increased capacity in advance of 5G services—even if that higher-band spectrum doesn’t propagate as well as lower frequencies,” according to the same article.
Straight Path Spectrum holds 868 FCC spectrum licenses providing wireless coverage of the entire United States, and covers the entire nation with 39 GHz spectrum. It has retained all its 28 GHz spectrum licenses.