GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — U.S. Cellular says its customers in Green Bay and Appleton will be among the first to have access to the company’s 5G network.
The company says they plan to roll out its 5G network in the first quarter of 2020.
According to a news release, the initial 5G deployment will be on its 600 MHz spectrum and will provide customers with faster data speeds, a more responsive mobile experience, and the ability to connect more devices to the network at the same time.
U.S. Cellular says this is the first phase of their planned multi-year network expansion for 5G and is a result of previous network technology investments to modernize equipment and software.
“Iowa and Wisconsin are two of our largest markets and we’re excited to introduce 5G technology to customers in both urban and rural communities where other carriers have not,” says Michael S. Irizarry, executive vice president and chief technology officer of U.S. Cellular. “Broader 5G coverage will provide our customers with even faster data connection speeds for a better experience when they do the things they love on their devices.”
Customers in Wisconsin and Iowa with 4G devices will begin to see increased network quality, according to U.S. Cellular, as cell towers are updated with new technology that supports 5G.
The company is building a portfolio of 5G smartphones, connected devices and IoT solutions that will be available throughout 2020.
U.S. Cellular will begin turning on its 5G network in larger Wisconsin communities including parts of Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Racine with plans for 115 cities across Wisconsin.
Customers in Iowa, Wisconsin, and additional markets in the company’s footprint will be notified when 5G is available to them through local advertising and targeted marketing in 2020 and beyond.
U.S. Cellular says network equipment vendors, including Ericsson and Nokia, have played an important part in the modernization and deployment of the company’s 5G network through both hardware and software capabilities.
The company is replacing the base stations with software-upgradable basebands, meaning new 5G features can be incorporated by adding new software rather than from a hardware replacement. It also involves moving the radios up the tower, which improves coverage in rural communities.
“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.