Charter taps Nokia to support 5G connectivity for Spectrum Mobile

June 5, 2023
Via Nokia, Charter will deliver targeted wireless 5G shared spectrum connectivity for Spectrum Mobile customers. The news marks Nokia’s first win in the MSO space for large-scale wireless 5G deployments, including 5G RAN and small cell densification.

Charter Communications is turning to Nokia’s full-line AirScale equipment range, including 5G RAN technologies, to support targeted 5G wireless connectivity design and deployment efforts. The operator will be deploying Nokia’s 5G RAN systems to deliver wireless 5G connectivity, the better to provide faster speeds and increased network capacity to Spectrum Mobile customers in trial markets in the United States.

Specifically, Charter will utilize Nokia’s 5G RAN technologies, including the company's strand mounted radios for CBRS, baseband units, and Nokia's newly developed 5G CBRS Strand Mount Small Cells All-in-One product line. Integrating the equipment into the MSO's cable plant assets will help Charter to boost mobile traffic in strategic locations across its 41-state footprint, while providing customers with full 5G connectivity services.

As noted in a company press release, the announcement marks the first win for Nokia in the MSO space.

In the U.S., Nokia is supplying 5G technologies across its portfolio to the major service providers and leading operators, as well as hyperscalers, enterprises, and government organizations. The company's track record of stateside innovation of course include Nokia Bell Labs, which pioneered many of the fundamental technologies that are being used to develop 5G and broadband standards. 

The company noted that U.S. cable operators have spent more than $1 billion on CBRS spectrum with the intention to build 5G networks to offload traffic from their leased mobile networks and to deliver the fastest wireless service. Nokia contends that by using compact and lightweight small cell products, cable operators can more easily and cost-effectively provide 5G wireless connectivity by leveraging their existing DOCSIS infrastructure without having to build additional cell sites.

Shaun McCarthy, president of North America Sales at Nokia, said: “This news builds on our more than 20-year relationship working with Charter to enhance its network. We are excited to expand its current trial to additional select metropolitan markets in the US, enabling an enhanced user experience for Spectrum Mobile subscribers. This win strengthens Nokia’s leadership position in the MSO space for 5G wireless deployments.”

With 6 million customer lines as of Q12023, Charter cites its Spectrum Mobile is the nation’s fastest growing mobile provider, based on year-end 2022 subscriber data among the top 3 carriers. As Charter continues to grow its mobile customers, the company said needed a 5G wireless connectivity solution to offload traffic from its leased mobile network.

Justin Colwell, EVP, Connectivity Technology at Charter Communications, concluded: “Charter is committed to providing our customers a fully converged connectivity experience that combines high value plans with the fastest wired and wireless speeds throughout our footprint. Incorporating Nokia’s innovative 5G technology into our advanced wireless converged network will help us ensure that Spectrum customers in areas with a high concentration of mobile traffic continue to receive superior mobile connectivity, including the nation’s fastest wireless speeds.”

In the following video, Nokia describes how its AirScale massive MIMO antenna and radio platforms use the company's proprietary ReefShark SoC technology, which it says enables efficient 5G mid-band performance by increasing RF bandwidth, to support fragmented spectrum, while at the same time reducing weight for simplified deployment and faster 5G network rollouts.

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