Nokia files to demo 5G at 28 GHz at Charter facility in Colorado

Based on an application for Special Temporary Authority (STA) filed with the FCC, it looks like Nokia wants to demonstrate its 5G gear at 28 GHz for Charter Communications at Charter’s Englewood, Colorado, facility.

The application didn’t name Charter, but it included an address to demonstrate 5G wireless equipment “to one of our customers located in Englewood Colorado, 14810 Grasslands Drive.” The STA period would be from Jan. 9, 2017, to Jan. 25, 2017, to allow time for setup, customer demonstrations/testing and breakdown of the equipment. Wireless engineering consultant Steve Crowley first tweeted a link to the application, noting the Charter connection.

A spokesman for the cable operator said the company would not comment on the application, but it’s clear from Charter’s Nov. 3 third-quarter conference call with analysts that the company is exploring its options beyond the MVNO agreement with Verizon that it plans to activate.

RELATED: Nokia CTO Marcus Weldon says cable could win at wireless this time

Asked by New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin about the timing of Charter’s wireless offerings, Charter Communications Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge said the MVNO is an opportunity to create "high-quality product intermixed" with its existing high-quality products to create value for customers.  

“With regard to how that gets integrated, no, I think 5G-type technologies or millimeter wave technologies or small-cell, high-frequency, high-capacity, low-latency wireless networks are products that we will develop," Rutledge said, according to a Seeking Alpha earnings call transcript.

“They may or not be connected to an MVNO relationship or a mobility relationship. I think that there are opportunities to create wireless drops, in certain cases, so direct wireless connections that require—that mimic a physical connection, to connect malls and other things in the enterprise space and buildings that are not contiguous or have big parking lots or, in some cases, low-density areas, it might make some sense,” he added.

He also said the company has asked the government for the right to experiment with millimeter wave technologies in several markets “so that we can learn how to use those products to our advantage competitively.”

The technology platform “of these small high-capacity cells can work in a myriad of ways, both as line extension devices, as well as in-home devices that don't necessarily require mobility off the property, in-office devices that don't require mobility off property,” he said. “So they don't have to be necessarily developed as a mobile service. So we are going to explore both paths.”

RELATED: Nokia wants to demonstrate 5G prototype gear at C Spire's headquarters in July

Nokia’s application to demonstrate 5G at the Englewood location follows similar applications where Nokia included the address of its customer but didn’t name them. Earlier this year, for example, Nokia received authorization to conduct tests in Ridgeland, Mississippi, where C Spire is based. In July, C Spire announced it was the first company to successfully demonstrate a 5G fixed wireless solution in Mississippi using Nokia equipment with a direct connection to its fiber-based commercial television service.

C Spire said the test delivered C Spire Fiber consumer television content, including ultra-high definition resolution video, with speeds up to 2.2 Gigabits per second (Gbps) and ultra-low latency below 1.4 milliseconds over the 5G wireless link.