The gleam in Rob's eye says he wants to go ahead. "We have more fiber than anyone else," Rob Howald of Comcast claims, adding, "We and all the others in cable have deployed fiber deeply throughout our networks. That will give us a crucial advantage in 5G mmWave." Howald was very clear that no decision has been made to go forward, although he was obviously enthused about the technology. It's not news that cablecos are looking, but I was amazed at how advanced the preparations are.
Balan Nair at Liberty Global, the largest international, a few months ago was deeply skeptical of building his own network. Now, he tells WSJ, "We have fiber to many neighborhoods." Stu Woo points out, "The company has utility cabinets in neighborhoods already connected to power, which would allow the company -- or a mobile-carrier partner -- to quickly set up a 5G cellular site there."
A few days later, I saw Howald hold up a chart of 5G coverage simulations. Their current fiber allows mmWave to more than half the area studied and they are driving fiber deeper. I've confirmed U.S. #2, Charter, is thinking similarly. The final decision is a couple of years away, but the engineers are enthusiastic about the challenge.