GCI, Alaska’s largest telecoms operator, has selected Ericsson to build what it says will be the US’s northernmost 5G network, in Anchorage – the state’s largest city. The vendor will deploy its 3GPP standards-based 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software to 82 macro cell sites across the municipality. Those sites will be supported by backhaul services provided by GCI’s metropolitan fibre network. The 5G system is set to go live in the first half of 2020. Ron Duncan, CEO of GCI, commented: ‘We are committed to providing superior 5G wireless service to the residents of Anchorage just as we already provide the fastest internet service. We are bringing all our assets – fibre, spectrum, wireless footprint, Alaska expertise – to bear on that commitment.’
A parallel report by Fierce Wireless notes that GCI currently has access to 210MHz of wireless spectrum in Anchorage, comprising frequencies in the 600MHz, 700MHz, 850MHz, 1900MHz and 1700MHz bands – all of which will come into play to support its 5G ambitions.