Charter’s Spectrum Mobile Goes Full Market

7 Jan

Following a soft launch earlier this summer, Charter Communications is moving ahead today with the full market launch of Spectrum Mobile, a service that is initially being underpinned by Charter’s MVNO agreement with Verizon Wireless.

Charter Communications Inc. soft-launched Spectrum Mobile on June 30, coming out of the chute with support for several Android smartphones but without the iconic Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone. (See Charter Unleashes Spectrum Mobile… Without the iPhone .)

According to the Spectrum Mobile website, Charter now supports several Apple devices — namely, the iPhone X, iPhone 9 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 and 7Plus, and iPhone SE. It also supports the Samsung Corp. Galaxy Note9, S9, S9+, and S8+; and the LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) K30.

Similar to Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)’s approach with Xfinity Mobile, Charter is looking to bundle Spectrum Mobile with the MSO’s high-speed Internet products.

Early on, Charter is selling Spectrum Mobile in two tiers — Unlimited (at $45 per line, though speeds may be reduced if a customer exceeds 20 gigabytes during a given billing cycle); and By the Gig ($14 per gigabyte). Per the fine print, Charter does not charge additional fees for using a smartphone as a mobile hotspot, though mobile hotspot speeds are reduced to a maximum of 600 Kbit/s after a customer exceeds 5GB of mobile hotspot data usage. To keep mobile network usage in check, Spectrum Mobile limits video streaming to “DVD-quality,” or roughly 480p.

Charter is among a group of cable operators that is running tests in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) 3.5GHz band, a shared portion of spectrum that is being eyed for private LTE networks and as a way for cable operators to offset some of their MVNO costs.

Related Post: Spectrum Mobile Now Supports Bring Your Own iPhone


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