U.S. carriers U.S.Cellular have chosen Nokia and Ericsson to provide them with 5 mmw devices in 24 GHz、28GHz and 39 GHz bands. he operator has now started 5 G millimeter wave deployment and plans to become commercial by 2021.The Chicago-based telecom operator offers 4.9 million connections in 20 U.S. states.
Up to now, U.S. cellular has only deployed 5g using 600MHz spectrum in parts of Iowa and Wisconsin. At the end of 2019, U.S. cellular selected Ericsson as its network equipment supplier for 5g NR hardware and software deployment in Iowa and Wisconsin.
A U.S. cellular spokesman said the company "will soon announce updates on new markets / states that will receive 5g services in the second half of this year.". As technology and use cases evolve, U.S. cellular plans to expand its network later through the medium and high frequency spectrum, the spokesman said.
At present, U.S. cellular network adopts 5g NSA mode, which means that its 5g network and LTE core network work together. When asked if they planned to upgrade to the 5g SA core network, the spokesman said: "we are conducting a technical evaluation and plan to start laboratory experiments from this year."
At the beginning of this year, U.S. cellular expected its capital expenditure in 2020 to be between $850 million and $950 million, which was not changed in the company's first quarter 2020 results released in April this year.
Ericsson said it would also provide 4G CBRS equipment and services to U.S. cellular. U. S. cellular also participated in the CBRS pal auction, which was launched by the FCC last week. The auction provides a total of 70 MHz of available spectrum. Many wireless operators want to acquire some intermediate frequency spectrum to expand their networks in major urban markets. They can also use the CBRS spectrum to provide private network services for enterprises.
Nokia said it also provided U.S. cellular with the Nokia airframe system to support virtualized ran.