Charter files for C-Band tests in Florida

CCO Fiberlink, a subsidiary of Charter Communications, filed an application for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to conduct tests in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, in part to better understand the impact of 5G C-Band waveform on C-Band satellite receivers.

The company explained that the testing will help inform Charter about the potential to use the 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum for 5G while protecting its existing video services.

“Charter plans to characterize the impact under all possible permutations of power, transmitter height, and location, and also quantify spatial and power isolation requirements between the 5G transmitter and satellite receiver,” the company told the FCC. “The proposed operations will advance Charter’s understanding of the impact of wireless access technologies on satellite receivers and help find solutions to co-exist for both technologies in the C-band. The results will inform Charter’s decision-making about future testing.”

Charter wants to conduct the outdoor tests within a two-mile radius of fixed locations in the vicinity of Bowling Green and Lake Wales, Florida. It’s asking for permission to start testing Dec. 12, or as soon as permission is granted, for a period of 180 days.

RELATED: Nokia, Charter among those singing praises of 3.7-4.2 GHz spectrum

Midband spectrum is in big demand for 5G. Charter’s senior vice president of Wireless Technology, Craig Cowden, told attendees at a Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) event during Mobile World Congress Americas in September that the 3.7-4.2 GHz band represents “true Goldilocks spectrum for 5G mobility” due to wider channels and better RF propagation.

RELATED: C-Band Alliance reiterates 200 MHz is the ‘right number’ at 3.7-4.2 GHz

During a panel discussion earlier this month hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), Colleen King, vice president of regulatory affairs at Charter, noted that the C-band is important to Charter’s video business; it uses it for critical programming to serve millions of customers.

On the other hand, it’s also very much interested in 5G and making sure that’s successful. She said it’s important for the company—and the FCC—to know whether 200 megahertz is the right amount to be allocated for 5G and if that is the right amount, that it doesn’t all go just to the biggest national carriers.

RELATED: Midco pursues trial at 3.7-4.2 GHz in 3 Midwest locations

Midcontinent Communications (Midco) was granted permission to conduct similar tests at three locations in the Midwest. Midco is also a cable operator with C-Band earth stations for video reception and transmission, and it’s a fixed wireless provider interested in using the C-Band to provide wireless broadband if interference concerns can be resolved.