Kevin Zvokel: Helping Americans connect in times of crisis

In times of crisis, broadband networks are even more important to meet the needs of all Americans. From first responders to work-from-home parents to students, we all need to stay connected. The dedicated people at Ericsson are working to ensure America’s networks are strengthened and are running without interruption.

Networks team

Head of Networks

Head of Networks

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Stepping up to a new challenge

It’s no joke to say that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the way we live our lives. Everything, from healthcare to education to the previously simple ways that we interact with friends and family, has been affected. For the Ericsson family, it’s been a challenge to adjust to the current environments, but it’s never been clearer how important our mission to help people across the world stay connected is.

Whether from a home office or on the front lines in the field, our teams are focused on strengthening the infrastructure that helps our operator customers keep hospitals, first responders, students, and the communities that we live in connected with as few interruptions as possible.

Frontline employees keep America connected

As COVID-19 continues to impact areas across the country, our 5000+ frontline employees and contractors continue installing, repairing, and maintaining the hardware and software that’s keeping America connected.

Bryan Casalegno, one of our field engineers in Arkansas, is working with his team to bring 911 coverage as well as data and voice services to parts of the Arkansas state capital building that would otherwise be unable to connect. Field service technician Adolfo Rodriguez and his teammates in Sacramento, California, are maintaining the area’s critical network infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted connectivity. Bryan Hedgepeth, a field technician in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is working to ensure cellular and 911 services are always there when they’re needed. And Krystal Jones, our field technician in Dallas, Texas, helps keep service up by making sure operator systems are routinely tested and running properly.

Every day, I hear more stories from the field, and I am proud to see my Ericsson team focused on our commitments to our customers and our communities, especially in critical situations that need quick response times.

Bringing connectivity to those who need it most

In a recent case, the Ericsson team received a critical customer request to provide additional coverage at a medical center in Roseville, California. Our Sacramento, California, team responded to the call and deployed a Cell-On-Wheels (COW) to provide coverage for the medical center to keep essential medical personnel connected. In another case, a hospital in California had connectivity challenges. Our team quickly installed an indoor LTE system to provide essential 5G connectivity so that patient care was not compromised.

With schools around the country closed, students need ways to connect with their teachers and peers so they can continue learning. Ericsson partnered with Rutland City Public Schools and Vermont Telephone Company (VTel) to bring free high-speed wireless internet to connect students and teachers. In less than 10 days, VTel and Ericsson deployed and installed next-generation 4G/5G wireless. With free internet service in place, students can learn remotely without struggling with poor network quality.

And when U.S. Cellular decided to increase their mobile broadband during the pandemic, our teams worked around the clock to quickly deliver the additional capacity to more than 200 sites to meet the increased demand.

Bringing 5G to all Americans

While our teams continue to respond to connectivity needs during this pandemic, we’re also looking at life after COVID-19, when our connectivity needs may be even greater, by continuing our commitment to bring 5G to all Americans.

Ericsson is doing that by building the best teams for America’s networks. At our U.S. Centers of Excellence, we’re offering industry-leading training by experienced instructors to ensure that our teams are building and maintaining our networks with the best quality.

We’re doing that by partnering with regional operators to bring 5G to even the most remote areas in the U.S. Ericsson, together with GCI, recently turned on the first 5G network in Anchorage, Alaska, now the northernmost 5G wireless network in America. We are proud to work closely with operators across the U.S. to bring 5G to customers, so everyone can benefit from the network quality and speeds they want and have been eagerly anticipating.

And we’re doing that by collaborating with the U.S. government to ensure that American 5G networks are secure.

Building and strengthening networks to keep America running

While we’re unsure what exactly lies ahead for the U.S. during this pandemic, Ericsson is proud to be on the frontlines, building and maintaining America’s network infrastructure to help all Americans stay connected.

We will continue moving networks to 5G so that consumers and industries can take advantage of increased speed, flexibility, and capabilities that will literally change American industries in the coming years. 5G is something all Americans should have access to sooner rather than later. At Ericsson, we are committed to making that happen.

As a global leader in 5G, and a trusted American supplier and employer, we are committed to ensuring U.S. leadership in 5G now and in the future. It’s how we intend to keep America running.

See how Ericsson is working to Keep America Running

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