Charter Communications to Offer a Wireless Product, CEO Says


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Charter Communications Inc., the second-largest U.S. cable operator, plans to offer a wireless product, Chief Executive Tom Rutledge said at an investor conference Wednesday.

Mr. Rutledge said Charter has asked to activate an agreement with Verizon Communications Inc. that allows for the cable operator to offer a wireless service by leasing Verizon's airwaves on a wholesale basis.

Charter inherited that agreement through its purchase of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, a deal that closed earlier this year.

Charter's strategy would be to take advantage of its Wi-Fi hot spots, both outdoor and inside customers' homes and businesses, to support a mobile service that would rely on Verizon airwaves where Wi-Fi isn't available, Mr. Rutledge said.

The approach mirrors a similar one laid out Tuesday by Comcast Corp., which announced plans to launch a wireless product in mid-2017.

Mr. Rutledge said that Charter's cable network passes some 50 million homes today but about half don't subscribe to any Charter service. A mobile product could help drive up penetration of Charter's services, he said.

Write to Shalini Ramachandran at

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Referenced Symbols: CHTR , CMCSA , VZ

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