Why Charter Believes 5G Data Speeds Can’t Match DOCSIS 3.1



5G technology

An updated version of 4G (fourth-generation) LTE (long-term evolution) technology, 5G (fifth-generation) is expected to deliver faster data speeds, lower latency, and consistent coverage. 

While LTE technology relies on small chunks of low-band and mid-band spectrum, 5G is expected to handle everything from low-band frequencies to millimeter-wave spectrum. According to Statista, the number of 5G wireless subscriptions is expected to reach 545.0 million by the end of 2022.

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During the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference held on September 6, Christopher L. Winfrey, Charter Communications’ (CHTR) CFO, was asked about the company’s plans to compete with a 5G technology data offering. Winfrey stated, “I don’t see anything about 5G that ever makes it comparable to DOCSIS 3.1 or DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex or any of the capabilities that we have through a fixed line service.”

Winfrey added that cable companies are well-positioned to support 5G networks, given the industry’s access to fiber, power, and rights-of-way.

Top carriers racing to be first with 5G service

Verizon (VZ) is planning to launch its commercial 5G fixed wireless broadband service in up to four US residential markets before the end of this year. AT&T (T) expects to roll out its mobile 5G service in a dozen US cities before the end of 2018. 

T-Mobile (TMUS) is also looking to roll out its 5G services. In July, T-Mobile awarded Nokia (NOK) a $3.5 billion contract to supply it with 5G network gear.


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