ANCHORAGE, Alaska, April 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — General Communication, Inc. (“GCI”)(NASDAQ: GNCMA) announced today that it is partnering with wireless technology and services company, Ericsson, to bring advanced, high-speed fixed and mobile connections to Alaska’s oil producing North Slope. GCI has long been a leader in supporting the telecommunication needs of the companies and employees in the region. GCI has 20 active towers today and the only terrestrial fiber optic connection to Prudhoe Bay.
GCI has begun construction and installation of its new advanced, high-speed wireless data network, which will include a total of nine sites spanning from Kuparuk to Point Thomson, stretching more than 3,738 square miles, an area larger than the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. The new network will be Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology with data download speeds in excess of 30Mbps. This high-speed connectivity will support advancing oil field data requirements and improve overall oilfield operations.
The network will have several new LTE sites that uniquely provide service to Alaska’s oil producers and its support industry at remote drilling campsites.
“Ericsson is proud to help GCI bring LTE to the most remote and isolated oil producing area in North America. We believe that the high-speed data network that GCI is building will greatly improve the productivity, safety and reliability of oilfield operations,” said Angel Ruiz, Head of Ericsson North America.
“GCI has long been the leading provider of advanced telecommunication services for Alaska’s oil producers and support companies. This is one more advanced technology that will greatly improve Alaska’s oil business, which is critical to the overall Alaska economy,” said GCI President and CEO Ron Duncan.
This project is a continuation of GCI’s build out of high-speed mobile service across Alaska. In addition to North Slope, GCI already provides LTE to Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau and later this year will be turning up LTE service for the Matanuska Valley and Kenai Peninsula.
GCI is the largest Alaska-based and operated, integrated telecommunications provider, offering wireless, voice, data and video service statewide. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com.