Samsung and Charter Communications have joined forces for 5G and 4G LTE wireless networks lab and field tests across the United States.

The trials started this summer and will continue through the end of 2017, the companies indicated.

Charter chose Samsung as one if its collaborators to support its wireless strategy, as the cable operator pushes ahead with its Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement with Verizon that’s set to launch next year. 

The 5G trial is testing fixed use cases utilizing Samsung’s pre-commercial 28 GHz (mmWave) system and devices. The 4G trials, meanwhile, utilize Samsung’s combined 4G LTE small cell technology in outdoor venues to evaluate mobile use cases, and are performed at 3.5 GHz, the companies said.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Samsung on these trials, which provide Charter better insight into how our advanced, powered, high speed network – which currently passes 49 million homes and businesses – can be used to enable 5G services,” Craig Cowden, senior VP of wireless technology at Charter, commented. “In addition, as we move closer to the launch of a Spectrum wireless service in 2018, our work with Samsung on trials of 4G small cell technology will support our overall wireless strategy.”

In May, Comcast and Charter announced a wireless partnership agreement, under which both agreed not to make a material merger or acquisition in wireless without the other’s consent for one year.

Also, in a May earnings call Charter CEO Tom Rutledge indicated the company had its eye on certain future spectrum opportunities, particularly relating to 5G.

Charter has a network of WiFi routers in “almost every home” it serves, and those, Rutledge noted, are incrementally capable of speeds of around 1 Gbps. The potential is there to accelerate those speeds with millimeter wave spectrum, he said, and Charter’s setup is well-suited to bring that connectivity to mobile.

“With regard to 5G, we’ve been experimenting with frequencies. But basically, our view of it is that small cell connectivity to our high capacity network is our future and our current state of wireless,” Rutledge said at the time. “We think that speeds will to continue to increase in the home and in the workplace, and if we need to put that into a mobile environment that our plan lends itself that as well in the long run.”

Samsung for its part, unveiled its new portfolio of small cell products at Mobile World Congress Americas this week in San Francisco. More on that here.

“As a pioneer in small cell networks technologies, Samsung is excited to partner with Charter as they evaluate their next-generation 5G and 4G wireless network technologies,” Mark Louison, SVP and general manager of networks at Samsung Electronics America, noted. “These projects, with communications leaders such as Charter, will continue to lay the foundation for future business models and customer applications that tap the full potential of both 4G LTE and 5G.”