Inside the Innovation Driving Spectrum’s Cutting-Edge Connectivity

Learn how Spectrum technologists work together to develop industry-leading broadband products and services.

Written by Olivia McClure
Published on Jan. 09, 2024
Inside the Innovation Driving Spectrum’s Cutting-Edge Connectivity
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As one of the nation’s leading broadband connectivity companies, Spectrum reaches more than 55 million homes and businesses across the U.S. with access to high-speed internet, mobile and voice services, and TV, including live video streaming across multiple devices.

Every day, the company’s more than 101,000 employees work as a team across different functions — from product development to network engineering to field and customer operations, and more — to deliver the technology that connects people to what matters most throughout Spectrum’s 41-state service area. 

Among those working to support the company’s public-facing customer and field operations teams are the Denver-based technologists who are at the forefront of innovation, developing the Spectrum products of tomorrow.

“Anything you want to do in tech, you can do at Spectrum,” said Senior Director of Network Technology Ognian Mitev. “Spectrum’s technology-focused employees are in a unique position to constantly learn and create the next big thing.” 

 

“Spectrum’s technology-focused employees are in a unique position to constantly learn and create the next big thing.”

 

That’s because everything at Spectrum is interconnected. 

For Spectrum customers, this is exemplified by a singular mobile app that controls all of Spectrum’s wide array of services — the My Spectrum App, the highest-rated support app in the United States among all national telecommunications providers, based on iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play) average ratings. For employees, this interconnectedness manifests in how the company’s technologists work together.

“Everything at Spectrum is interwoven,” said Group Vice President of Engineering Kyle Johnson. “Through collaboration, the team is empowered to develop solutions that complement each other and deliver a better customer experience.”  

Every technologist at Spectrum plays a role in building pieces of a massive puzzle — one with the power to fuel a growing, cutting-edge enterprise as it continues to pursue the next level in customer connectivity inside and outside of the home.

 

IMPACTING 32 MILLION CUSTOMERS

Spectrum’s tech teams develop and operate connectivity products that serve more than 32 million customers across 41 states. Not only are the company’s services used by residential customers, they also are leveraged by a wide range of small- and medium-sized businesses and institutions, including resorts, restaurants and hospitals, as well as larger, enterprise-scale companies.

 

Piecing the Puzzle Together

These puzzle pieces take many different forms, encompassing both physical and digital transformation. 

In-house industrial designers develop devices inside the Charter Technology and Engineering Center, also known as CTEC. The space is a controlled environment with proof-of-concept labs, stability zones and other resources needed to develop next-generation technologies. 

 

 Interior view of Charter Technology and Engineering Center
Spectrum

 

“The intent of the center is to make sure that whatever we deploy in production will provide the best possible customer experience,” Mitev said. 

Last year, Director of Product Management Henri Vos’ team at CTEC led the company’s effort to expand the use of embedded SIM cards (known as eSIM) across Spectrum Mobile devices, enabling customers to activate their new phones without having to wait for a new SIM card to arrive in the mail. 

“It’s all embedded in the device,” Vos explained. “My team led the effort to launch this new feature and functionality so that every iPhone that we sell now is eSIM compatible.”  

Providing Spectrum customers with superior mobile service and WiFi is a key focus of the organization. Johnson and his engineering colleagues ensure Spectrum’s customers get the most out of their Advanced WiFi routers, which are designed to supply broad-range and multi-device connectivity for Spectrum’s fast, reliable and secure internet service, throughout their homes.

 

“Spectrum’s Advanced WiFi routers are designed to supply broad-range and multi-device connectivity for its fast, reliable and secure internet service.

 

Employees at CTEC also focus on ensuring customers’ internet, WiFi and mobile services are secure by monitoring potential cybersecurity threats. Director of Data Insights Danielle Conner and her team use this data, in a privacy-focused way, to develop insights into network performance and protect against cybersecurity threats. “We take the data from both the cellular and WiFi sides and map that out,” Conner explained. “You can see where threats are originating and landing, and then we work with our internal partners to mitigate any threats and ensure customer security.”

Conner added that several members of her team hold patents for the innovations they’ve developed with the company’s support.  

 

A Peek Down the Pipeline

The tech teams at Spectrum are always looking for new ways to redefine their technology — focused on the customer experience. 

Spectrum’s current network offers speeds up to 1 Gbps virtually everywhere Spectrum operates, and the company is heading toward delivering speeds up to 10 Gbps. To deliver this speed and capability, Johnson’s team recently launched a WiFi 6E router to Spectrum’s Advanced WiFi customers, which supports speeds up to 2 Gbps, and is on track to begin launching WiFi 7 routers to support speeds up to 10 Gbps in 2024.

For its Advanced WiFi customers, Johnson explained that Spectrum doesn’t simply deliver reliable internet access; the service also provides Security Shield, an automatically enabled feature that detects and blocks malicious websites, phishing scams, data theft and internet-originated attacks. 

Conner added that all these efforts to enhance speed, security and efficiency tie back to the company’s emphasis on enhancing the quality of its customers’ experience. In line with this focus, her team is working on models that will gauge activity across the network. “We create experience maps across the country,” she said, “so you can see where the network is performing well, where support might be needed and give insights into that.” 

 

INVESTING IN INNOVATION

Spectrum’s annual “Charter Innovation Day” allows team members to work in groups to develop a technical solution within 24 hours. Once completed, each team participates in a demo session where they name a winning innovation. The solutions created during this event often go into production. 

 

Lobby and front desk area of Charter Communications office.
Spectrum

 

Stability Meets a Startup Vibe

Being a technologist at Spectrum is not only about developing the latest telecom technology. For Conner, it includes having the ability to work on exciting projects while receiving input from senior leaders. 

“The leadership team is extremely supportive of all the projects we do,” Conner said. 

It’s also about working with colleagues who are driven to innovate and deliver the best connectivity products and services in cities and towns across the nation. None of Spectrum’s achievements would be possible without its employees.

“What makes Spectrum unique is the people we hire,” Mitev said. “I’m proud to be a part of this organization.” 

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Shutterstock (header) and Spectrum.

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