U.S. Cellular is increasing its AWS-3 spectrum capacity by working with Ericsson and Nokia in markets hit hard by COVID-19. U.S. Cellular recently asked for and was granted Special Temporary Authority from the FCC to operate additional spectrum licensed to Advantage Spectrum in the AWS-3 band for 60 days.
Nokia and U.S. Cellular deployed temporary spectrum in parts of California, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. The spectrum was integrated remotely on Nokia Airscale Radio Access Network, bringing increased network capacity to 250 sites.
Ericsson has worked with U.S. Cellular to add additional capacity to more than 200 sites. U.S. Cellular, with Ericsson’s support, began boosting mobile broadband capacity to customers in parts of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, New Hampshire, Maine and North Carolina.
“We’ve seen an increase in voice, SMS and data traffic in recent weeks, but we’ve designed a highly reliable, hardened network that can withstand shifts in bandwidth needs and handle unexpected increases in usage,” said U.S. Cellular EVP/CTO Michael Irizarry. “During these critical yet uncertain times, we’re committed to keeping our customers connected and to keeping our network running to ensure continuous service.” He said he’s grateful for long-standing relationships with Nokia and Ericsson “and their support during this time to make immediate enhancements as needed.”