Cable TV Companies Might Have Advantage Heading Into the 5G Era

Verizon and AT&T are field testing pre-standard 5G fixed wireless access using millimeter frequencies October 23, 2017

NEW YORK — In preparation for the coming of 5G, carriers and neutral host providers will create ultra-dense networks using small cells, and cable companies will have increasing opportunities in the wireless market because of the reach of existing hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) networks. There will be an industry transformation from traditional macro architectures to architectures based on small cells.

“It’s a hand-in-glove fit with cable. I would choose cable’s assets over anyone else’s. The reason for that is small cell is going to require significant and pervasive power, right-of-way and backhaul. And that is precisely what an HFC network does. We are going to be leaders in wireless,” said Craig Cowden, SVP of wireless technology at Charter, quoted in

Verizon and AT&T are field testing pre-standard 5G fixed wireless access using millimeter frequencies.

However: “The cable operators with the cable plants and with fiber deeper are particularly well-situated to drive the next generation of wireless activity” said Glenn Laxdal, Ericsson head of network products, in the same article. Laxdal also said that the key technology aspect of radio with respect to 5G is beam-forming and multiple input/multiple output (MIMO). “The higher up the spectrum band that I go, the more antennas that I can shrink wrap either onto a piece of silicon or onto an antenna panel. The more antennas I have available, the more antennas I can use to transmit a beam.”

Companies like Verizon are learning that propagation of milli-meter wavelengths is fraught with difficulties though, as we reported earlier this year.  


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