U.S. Cellular announced plans to launch its 5G network in parts of Iowa and Wisconsin in the first quarter of 2020. The company’s initial 5G deployment will be on its 600 MHz spectrum.
This is the first phase of the company’s planned multi-year network expansion for 5G. U.S. Cellular network equipment vendors, including Ericsson and Nokia, have helped the carrier modernize and deploy its 5G network.
U.S. Cellular is replacing base stations with software-upgradable basebands, so 5G features can be incorporated by adding new software. The company is also moving the radios up the tower, to improve coverage in rural communities.
Iowa and Wisconsin are two of the carrier’s largest markets. It’s bringing 5G to both urban and rural communities, according to U.S. Cellular EVP/CTO Michael Irizarry.
“We are rapidly moving across our footprint to bring 5G to as many of our customers as possible over the coming years. We expect to augment the network with mid- and high-band spectrum over time as the technology and use cases continue to evolve,” Irizarry said.
Customers in the two states with 4G devices will begin to see increased network quality as cell towers are updated with new technology, which also supports 5G. The company is building a portfolio of 5G smartphones, connected devices and IoT solutions that will be available throughout 2020.
The larger communities in Iowa where the company plans to provide 5G coverage are parts of Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque and Waterloo. Larger Wisconsin communities include parts of Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Racine.
October 4, 2019