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Charter Communications Challenges Verizon’s 5G Service

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Sep. 26 2018, Updated 9:30 a.m. ET

Charter aiming for 10 Gbps speed

Verizon (VZ) is gearing up to challenge cable companies like Charter Communications (CHTR) and Comcast (CMCSA) in the high-speed Internet market, as its 5G services are slated to launch in several US cities next month.

However, Charter Communications doesn’t think Verizon’s 5G rollout poses a serious threat to its broadband business because of 5G. In a recent interview with CNBC, Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge said the company was on track to offer 1 Gbps speeds across its footprint by the end of the year. He added that the company was working to support 10 Gbps speeds in the coming years.

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The battle for wireless customers

Verizon’s 5G service promises regular speeds of 300 Mbps and peak speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Verizon’s 5G Home plans are expected to start at $50 per month. AT&T (T) is also preparing to launch 5G service in up to a dozen cities in 2018, but it has yet to disclose its 5G prices or speeds.

Charter Communications recently fully rolled out its Spectrum Mobile service to compete with Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile (TMUS) for wireless customers. Spectrum Mobile offers an unlimited plan that costs $45 per month for a single line.

Spectrum Mobile could end 2018 with 250,000 subscribers

Some Wall Street observers predict that Spectrum Mobile could close the year with 250,000 subscribers. The service fully rolled out earlier this month following a limited launch in June.

Verizon closed the second quarter with 152.7 million wireless subscribers. AT&T and T-Mobile had 147.3 million and 75.6 million wireless customers, respectively, in that period. Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile had 781,000 subscribers at the end of the second quarter. Charter Communications’ revenues jumped 4.8% year-over-year to $10.9 billion in the second quarter.

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