GCI turns on Alaskan 5G network

21 Apr 2020

Alaska’s largest telecoms operator GCI has partnered Ericsson to switch on the US’s northernmost 5G mobile network, in the state’s largest city Anchorage, following a rollout begun last June. With the first 5G cell sites declared live on 17 April 2020, GCI is currently selling devices that will support 5G service after a software update is released ‘in the coming weeks’, with additional 5G handsets becoming available later this year.

GCI CEO Ron Duncan announced: ‘We have upgraded our wireless core, and we intend to upgrade the vast majority of cell sites in Anchorage, Eagle River and Girdwood to our five-band 5G NR solution by the end of the year.’ The project will equip every sector of each cell site with five spectrum bands, linked by GCI’s metro fibre network to raise mobile data speeds five-fold and significantly improve in-building coverage. Duncan added: ‘I want to emphasise that this increase will also benefit our LTE customers, not just users of 5G handsets.’ Back in June the operator committed to deploying 5G NR at 82 macro cell sites across the municipality using the 600MHz, 700MHz, 850MHz, 1900MHz and 1700MHz frequency bands.

United States, Ericsson, GCI Communication Corp