20 Apr GCI cuts ribbon on Alaska’s first 5G service | Light Reading
ANCHORAGE, Alaska It’s official: 5G has arrived in Alaska. In partnership with industry leader Ericsson, GCI turned up its first 5G cell sites in Anchorage on April 17, becoming the northernmost 5G wireless carrier in the nation.
“In June of 2019, we committed to launching 5G service in the spring of 2020. I am proud to announce today we have delivered on that commitment,” said GCI CEO and Co-Founder Ron Duncan. “We have upgraded our wireless core, and we intend to upgrade the vast majority of cell sites in Anchorage, Eagle River and Girdwood to our 5-band 5G NR (New Radio) solution by the end of the year.”
Hometown 5G will combine GCI’s unique radio spectrum and metro fiber assets to create a vastly more capable network, five times faster than before. Every sector of every cell site will be outfitted with five radios to utilize GCI’s low-band and mid-band radio spectrum, driving massive improvements in speed and coverage, particularly in-building coverage. GCI’s metro fiber network will deliver the broadband connectivity needed to support these upgraded cell sites.
Having met the 5G service launch commitment, GCI is directing all its efforts to completing its 2020 cell site upgrade plan. It is working closely with Ericsson to drive the cell site upgrades throughout Anchorage.