U.S. Cellular customers in Iowa and Wisconsin will be the first to have access to the benefits of the company’s 5G network, beginning in the first quarter of 2020. The company’s 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.
This is the first phase of the company’s 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,” said 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 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.
U.S. Cellular will begin turning on its 5G network in parts of many Iowa and Wisconsin communities. 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.
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 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.
About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier is building a stronger network with the latest 5G technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.