Charter adds former Ericsson executive Manish Jindal as Group VP for wireless R&D

Manish Jindal. Image: Ericsson

Charter Communications quietly hired a former Ericsson executive to help head up the company’s nascent wireless technology efforts. Manish Jindal, who was previously Ericsson’s VP and CTO of broadband and media, is now Charter’s group VP of wireless research and development, reporting to Craig Cowden.

Charter confirmed the hire to FierceCable.

In his LinkedIn profile, Jindal lists responsibilities including “driving Standards, Spectrum, 5G, 3.5Ghz, IoT initiatives.”

Jindal’s hire further underscores Charter’s growing interest in wireless technologies, including 5G. Last year, Charter asked Verizon to activate the MVNO agreement it inherited when it closed its purchase of Time Warner Cable. Earlier this year, Charter subsidiary CCO Fiberlink filed paperwork with the FCC to test antennas and spectrum typically associated with 5G networks. And in May, Charter and Comcast announced they will partner to explore entries into the wireless market—shortly thereafter the two companies reportedly entered discussions with Sprint about some kind of wireless transaction.

It’s also noteworthy that Jindal will report to Charter’s Cowden. Cowden is a former Sprint exec who spent eight years at Bright House Networks, operating most recently as the operator’s chief network officer and senior VP of enterprise solutions. Following Charter’s acquisition of Bright House last year, Cowden took on the role of senior VP of wireless technology.

Cowden directly reports to Charter’s top tech executive, Jim Blackley, executive VP of engineering and IT.

Jindal was previously a high-ranking Ericsson executive charged with overseeing technology solutions for Ericsson customers, including regional wireless and wireline service providers, cable operators, utility service providers and other businesses. Prior to joining Ericsson, Manish was responsible for end-to-end solutions architecture for Nokia Solutions and Networks in North America.

Jindal left Ericsson amid a major corporate restructuring at the equipment vendor that also saw the ouster of CEO Hans Vestberg (who recently landed at Verizon).