Pine Cellular, a regional operator that serves south-eastern Oklahoma, has selected Ericsson to modernise its existing 3G/4G equipment to 5G-ready products and solutions. Headquartered in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, Pine Cellular is part of the Pine family of companies which started offering fixed voice services in 1911 and has grown to provide mobile, fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband and IPTV services. Under the agreement, Ericsson says it will modernise Pine Cellular’s existing core, RAN, microwave and router equipment across more than 140 cell sites.
It is understood that the modernisation work has been prompted by the ‘Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019’ – widely referred to as the ‘rip-and-replace’ scheme. Small-scale operators across the US were permitted to apply for funding to bankroll the removal of Chinese-built Huawei/ZTE equipment from their networks on national security grounds.