Wireless Industry News

The new partnership between cable giants Comcast and Charter Communications signals the importance of wireless technology to the future of the telecom industry, according to T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter. Moreover, the operators’ partnership could potentially set the stage for a company to “truly disrupt what is happening in the U.S. marketplace.”

“You can definitely dip your toe in the water with an MVNO, but you’re never really going to have true owner’s economics,” Carter said today in comments at a JP Morgan conference for Wall Street investors. “And more importantly you’re never going to have deep integration of the cable and wireless networks—and that is a major unlock of value. And I believe that that type of coalition [between Comcast and Charter] actually makes, eventually, more industrial sense for cable and wireless to come together to truly disrupt what is happening in the U.S. marketplace.”

Comcast and Charter announced earlier this month that they will join forces as they take on the four major carriers in an extremely competitive U.S. wireless market. “By working with the team at Comcast, we can not only speed Charter’s entry into the marketplace, it will also enable us to provide more competition and drive costs down for consumers at a similar national scale as current wireless operators,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge explained in a press release announcing the news. “We look forward to working with Comcast through this innovative arrangement and bringing our focus on superior products and services, craftsmanship and quality customer care to the wireless space.” Read More

Verizon Wireless activated its Category M1 LTE network, making it the first U.S. carrier to launch a nationwide LTE network dedicated to the internet of things. The carrier said it will offer IoT data plans for as little as $2 per month per device, with customized options available for bulk activations and volume purchases.

Category M1 LTE is very different from the higher categories of LTE that smartphones use. Uplink and downlink speeds are both capped at one megabit per second, and bandwidth is capped at 1.4 megahertz per device. This is said to enable low-cost connectivity chipsets for devices that do not need constant communication with the network. Category M1 modems are roughly 75% less complex than Category 1 modems, which are currently used to connect IoT devices to LTE networks