UScellular today announced the launch of its 5G mid-band network, with customers in parts of 10 states who now have access to the benefits of the company’s faster and stronger network. UScellular’s 5G mid-band technology combined with a mid-band enabled device can provide up to 10x faster speeds than its 4G LTE network and low-band 5G. This technology has more capacity, enhances the mobile experience, and has business and fixed wireless applications.
By the end of June, UScellular’s 5G mid-band network will be available mainly in parts of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, including sections of Rockford, Ill., Des Moines, Iowa and Milwaukee. Communities in Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia and Washington are also included in the initial rollout. By the end of the year, the company plans to cover more than 1 million households in its operating footprint with its 5G mid-band network. The company is using 5G network equipment from Nokia and Ericsson.
“We view mid-band as the sweet spot of 5G because it provides broad coverage, low latency and fast speeds – enabling more people to connect to what matters most at home or on-the-go,” said Mike Irizarry, executive vice president and chief technology officer for UScellular. “As we approach serving 100,000 High-Speed Internet customers later this summer, mid-band will play an important role in furthering the reach and enhancement of that product. We’ve made it a priority to expand the technology to more communities in the coming years.”
Broader 5G coverage (see map) with mid-band technology provides customers and businesses with even faster data connection speeds for a better experience. UScellular will continue to expand its device portfolio, including adding more options for its High-Speed Internet product and additional IoT devices, to further enhance its mobile and fixed connectivity offerings.
UScellular now offers customers low-band, mid-band and high-band mmWave 5G speeds and services. The company expects nearly 3 million households in its operating footprint will have access to 5G mid-band connectivity by the end of 2024.
UScellular’s 5G mid-band network is using 3.45 GHz spectrum that was purchased through Auction 110 granted in 2022. The company is partnering with Nokia and Ericsson for its mid-band buildout. The company was among the top five bidders in the FCC’s 3.45 GHz Auction 110, where it spent over $579 million. It also acquired C-band spectrum for about $1.46 billion in 2021; that spectrum starts to become available later this year.
UScellular did not need to coordinate with the Department of Defense (DoD) for the 3.45 GHz sites that are part of this launch, but DoD coordination is needed for some sites that are to be deployed in the future, according to a company spokesperson.
Speaking at the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s Connect(X) conference in New Orleans last month, Irizarry said the company expects a “rapid acceleration” of its mid-band spectrum 5G deployment to occur in 2024.
UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to help customers stay connected to the things that matter most. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest 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.
Through its After School Access Project, the company has pledged to provide hotspots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet. Additionally, UScellular has price protected all of its plans, promising not to increase prices through at least the end of 2024.
To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or www.uscellular.com.