UScellular, Ericsson, Qualcomm and the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) recently conducted a 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) demonstration in Alleman, Iowa – a small city with a population of 423. The event highlighted the capabilities of 5G technology with millimeter wave (mmWave) and low band spectrum being combined to deliver speeds of 850 Mbps downlink and over 100 Mbps uplink. The demonstration was attended by state legislators and members of Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Task Force who were also given a tour of the nearby cell tower after the conclusion of the experiment. UScellular has already made plans for mid-band spectrum acquisition for 3.45 GHz spectrum in 2022 and C-band spectrum in 2021 to help improve broadband access for 106,000 Iowans lacking internet connectivity. This investment, along with the use of Fixed Wireless Access as an option for states to use federal infrastructure funding and leverage 5G technology is helping to bridge the digital divide across rural communities, connecting greater number of people with reliable internet connection.
The recent FWA demonstration is part of UScellular’s larger initiative to provide broadband coverage to more than 1 million Americans living in underserved areas using 5G technology that not only benefits these rural communities but also enables them to utilize future technologies such as autonomous vehicles, large scale healthcare applications and Internet Of Things (IoT). The success of this FWA experiment shows promise not just for Alleman but also other rural towns across America facing similar challenges due to limited access to internet connection. As state legislatures continue to explore new ways to bring reliable broadband access using 5G technology, we can expect many more deployments like this one leading up towards improved connectivity and greater accessibility for everyone.
Furthermore, research groups and advocacy organizations have expressed their support for continued 5G development to meet the growing demands of rural areas. Industry leaders such as UScellular are playing a crucial role in enabling these advancements by launching pioneering projects like the one conducted in Alleman, Iowa. Through its efforts, UScellular is setting an example of how 5G technology can be used to bridge the digital divide, bringing better internet connectivity and improved access to remote rural areas. With similar experiments being conducted across multiple states in America, we will soon see a massive influx of high-speed broadband in regions with limited access, transforming the lives of countless people.