With the launch of Samsung’s new 5G-enabled phones last week, Charter Communications announced that Spectrum Mobile customers on its $45 monthly unlimited data plan can use the phones to access 5G at no additional cost in select cities.
Charter has an MVNO agreement with Verizon, so the 5G service is limited to the markets where Verizon has launched using millimeter wave spectrum.
Charter said that Spectrum Mobile is now carrying Samsung’s Galaxy S20 5G, Galaxy S20+ 5G and Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, which can be used to access the 5G service. In addition, for a limited time, Spectrum Mobile customers who trade in their existing phone and buy a Galaxy S20 series phone will get a $200 credit.
“Spectrum Mobile offers the best speeds, with the best devices, at the best value – and now that includes access to next-generation 5G service,” said Danny Bowman, Chief Mobile Officer for Charter, in a press release. “Spectrum Mobile already offers the fastest overall speeds, and Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 series phones are designed and built for customers to take advantage of even faster speeds and responsiveness on-the-go via Spectrum Mobile’s 5G network, where available.”
The company said that Spectrum Mobile’s 5G service offers “high-band, hyper-fast millimeter wave coverage” in dense urban pockets of select cities, including New York, Charlotte, Dallas and Los Angeles, with coverage areas expanding throughout 2020 using high-band and low-band spectrum.
Spectrum Mobile customers with 5G-enabled phones will seamlessly connect to the best available network – Spectrum Wi-Fi, 5G or 4G LTE – depending on location. The company is making maps available to show current Spectrum Mobile coverage areas.
Last month, Charter said that its MVNO service reached a total of 1.1 million mobile lines as of December 31, 2019. Charter added 288,000 Spectrum Mobile lines in the fourth quarter, with 948,000 mobile lines added in the full year 2019.
The company has made no secret about its ambitions in the mid-band spectrum proceedings at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), having participated heavily in the comment phase for both Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) 3.5 GHz and C-band auctions. The company applauded the FCC’s most recent moves, saying they recognize the importance of making more mid-band spectrum available.