Ericsson will build a 5G network in Municipality of Anchorage for GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications company.
Starting this summer, the partners will deploy Ericsson’s 3GPP standards-based 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software to 82 macro cell sites across the Municipality of Anchorage from Girdwood to Eklutna, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. GCI’s metro fiber network will provide backhaul services to these sites, which include both towers and building locations. The project will be completed in 2020 with initial 5G service coming online in the first half of the year.
GCI’s robust metro fiber network and cable plant already offers Gigabit cable modem service to 95 percent of Anchorage households. GCI controls more low- and mid-band mobile radio spectrum than any other wireless provider in Anchorage. And it has more macro cell sites in Anchorage than any other Alaska wireless provider.
GCI’s 5G deployment will support local government efforts to grow the nation’s northernmost smart city. The Municipality of Anchorage already uses a “light grid” to improve efficiency for municipal street lights and is exploring programs that rely on automated systems and connectivity to deliver services more efficiently to residents.