U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM) with Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) support, began boosting mobile broadband capacity to customers in parts of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, New Hampshire, Maine and North Carolina, due to increased demand for data usage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve seen an increase in voice, SMS and data traffic in recent weeks, but we’ve designed a highly reliable, hardened network that can withstand shifts in bandwidth needs and handle unexpected increases in usage,” said Michael S. Irizarry, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for U.S. Cellular. “During these critical yet uncertain times, we’re committed to keeping our customers connected and to keeping our network running to ensure continuous service. We know things will continue to change and evolve, so I’m grateful for the long-standing relationship we’ve had with Ericsson and their support during this time to make immediate enhancements as needed.”
“Our mission has always been to help our customers connect the unconnected. This can be challenging under normal circumstances but especially critical in a time of crisis like we have now,” said Rob Johnson, Head of Customer Unit Regional Carriers for Ericsson North America. “Our teams have been working around the clock to ensure our customers’ networks can withstand shifts in bandwidth needs as people continue to work and use video conferencing from home and kids are attending classes online instead of in the classroom.”
U.S. Cellular recently requested and was granted Special Temporary Authority (STA) from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to operate additional spectrum licensed to Advantage Spectrum in the AWS-3 band for 60 days. Ericsson has worked with U.S. Cellular to add additional capacity to more than 200 sites to help ensure connectivity for U.S. Cellular customers.