UScellular, the fourth largest full-service carrier in the US, is expanding its 5G coverage in several states. The telco has used a software update that enhances coordination between its cell sites to deploy smart 5G Networks. With this update, UScellular is able to provide 5G coverage to 1.4 million more people, representing a 5% increase in the company's 5G coverage.
X2 Coordination Feature
US Cellular is utilizing X2 coordination, a feature within 4G and 5G technology that links neighbouring eNodeBs to assist handover and provide quick radio resource coordination to speed its rollout. By doing this, the carrier can more quickly and easily expand the current 5G service to nearby sites, making 5G available to more customers. As a result, 5G now cover more than 50% of the company's network.
Automatic Neighbour Relations Feature
Apart from expanding coverage and service area, UScellular also has enhanced its automation capabilities to fasten the deployment of these services with improved real-time network updates and greater accuracy with a feature called Automatic Neighbor Relations (ANR).
"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," said Robert Jakubek, vice president of engineering and network operations at UScellular. "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."
"This automation complements the work of US Cellular engineers and allows them to focus on other high-value efforts that contribute to the quality and reliability of the network," said the company, adding that it plans to implement ANR on future tower builds as its 5G rollout continues.
On the 5G network, US Cellular is collaborating with several technology partners. On its mmWave FWA service, for example, it has tapped Qualcomm, Ericsson and Inseego, while for C-band, it selected equipment from Nokia and Ericsson.