But aside from that topic, the Charter executives talked a bit about the company’s mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service.
Charter ended Q3 with nearly 4.7 million MVNO lines, and its mobile revenue rose 40.2% in Q3
When asked about its mobile offering, Charter tends to stress its Wi-Fi capabilities. And the executives did that again at their Investor Day.
Rich DiGeronimo, president of Product and Technology at Charter, said, “Charter’s advanced Wi-Fi product is available and sold across 100% of our footprint. We have over 11 million homes utilizing this advanced Wi-Fi product now.”
He said of the nearly 500 million devices connected to its network, over 450 million of those connect over Wi-Fi in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
Next year, Charter is deploying Wi-Fi 6E in the 6 GHz band, which will open an additional 1200 MHz of Wi-Fi capacity.
“Wi-Fi 6E can deliver 2 Gbps, and that will grow to 10 Gbps with Wi-Fi 7, which we will deploy shortly thereafter,” said DiGeronimo.
He also mentioned Charter’s Mobile Speed Boost, which it recently launched and will fully roll out in early 2023.
The "boost" comes from combining the cellular service, which rides on Verizon’s network, together with a boost from the customer’s Charter Wi-Fi service.
Just to make it crystal clear, DiGeronimo said the Spectrum Mobile network is comprised of the following components:
- In-home Wi-Fi access points that also broadcast the spectrum Mobile SSID;
- Out-of-home access points, at a small business or event venue, that broadcast the Spectrum Mobile SSID;
- Other networks with which Charter partners (ie Verizon); and
- Charter’s licensed and unlicensed 5G CBRS network.
“Currently, 85% of traffic on a Spectrum Mobile phone is over Wi-Fi, and the rest is over the cellular network,” he said. The company's intention is to enable a greater percentage of traffic to traverse its Wi-Fi.
Charter’s CFO Jessica Fischer said the company is “under-penetrated in mobile.” There are 126 million mobile lines in its footprint, and Charters only serve less than 4% of those lines, now, which provides great potential.
Fischer said Charter will discontinue separate mobile reporting in Q1 2023 and instead reflect it as part of the company’s converged business.
Charter launched a commercial-grade employee trial of its CBRS network in one of its largest markets this year. The trial is using 20 MHz of CBRS PALs and General Authorized Access (GAA), the unlicensed version of CBRS.
DiGeronimo said that for that trial, the company has a 5G standalone (SA) core, mobile back-office software, and “our CBRS RAN.”
He said, “We’re really trying to ensure that we have a seamless handoff between our network and the MNO partner network as well, leveraging dual SIM or dual subscription. We’re working through those use cases right now, and the trial is going really well. We also want to make sure that we get enough offload to offset the capital cost that’s associated with building out more markets, which we do intend to do.”