UScellular is using two techniques to increase network automation and bring 5G access to 1.4 million more people. More than half of the of the company’s footprint now is covered by 5G.
The technology that will increase the carrier’s footprint is X2 coordination, which is included in both 4G and 5G. It enables existing 5G on one site to be provided to neighboring sites. Use of the technology expands the carrier’s 5G coverage by 5%.
UScellular also is using Automatic Neighbor Relations (ANR), which broadens automation capabilities. It accelerates the deployment of services with greater autonomy, improves real-time network upgrades and provides greater accuracy.
“These updates allow us to get more out of our investment and enhance our customers’ experience whether they are accessing our 5G network on their smartphone, tablet or for home internet,” Robert Jakubek, vice president of engineering and network operations at UScellular, said in a press release. “Our local network teams have been busy turning this technology on for customers from coast to coast, and we look forward to more customers taking advantage of our fast, high-quality network.”
UScellular is the fourth largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States.
The expansion is part of UScellular’s network modernization plan. The company did not say which states will have expanded 5G coverage.
UScellular is in the process of broadening its 5G tool chest. It had rolled out both mmWave and low-band 5G. The former supports high data speed but has a comparatively small coverage area, while the latter has wider coverage but slower speeds.
In May, UScellular said that it would rollout a third variation of 5G – mid-band – by the end of next year. Mid-band is thought to deliver an optimal mix of speed and coverage area. The company won mid-band holdings in the C-band in 2021 and in the 3.45GHz band this year.