Ericsson wins 5G network deal from GCI

Ericsson has won a 5G network deal from GCI, a telecom operator in Alaska, to build the nation’s northernmost 5G network in Anchorage – scheduled to launch in 2020.
Ericsson Radio basestation antennas
This marks Ericsson’s 22nd publicly announced 5G contract till now. Huawei is the leader in terms of the 5G network deals. Huawei has won 46 network contracts globally to build 5G infrastructure. Nokia has signed 42 5G network contracts.

Huawei recently said its revenue will drop to less than $100 billion in 2019 and 2020 from an estimated revenue of nearly $135 billion in 2019.

GCI, the largest mobile operator in Alaska, will deploy Ericsson’s 3GPP standards-based 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software to 82 macro cell sites across the Municipality of Anchorage. Those sites will be supported by backhaul services provided by GCI’s metro fiber network.

Ericsson has recently announced the revised 5G platform through the launch of new software and hardware solutions to expand 5G deployment options. Telecom engineers can install the new standalone 5G NR software on existing Ericsson Radio System hardware.

“The combination of our assets – fiber, spectrum, wireless footprint — and Ericsson’s 5G solution will increase the capacity of our Anchorage wireless network by 10 times or more and also provide better coverage,” Ron Duncan, CEO of GCI, said.

GCI’s 5G deployment will support local government efforts to grow the northernmost smart city in the US.

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. The project will be completed in 2020 with GCI’s initial 5G service coming online in the first half of the year.

Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm said: “Ericsson and GCI have partnered over the past decade to connect customers in some of the most remote communities in Alaska. We are pleased to continue working with GCI to bring 5G service to Alaska’s biggest city.”