UScellular’s 5G SA core deployment goes to Nokia

10 September 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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UScellular has turned to Nokia once again as it builds out its 5G standalone (SA) core network.

Nokia has been selected to roll out the network with deployment expected to be completed by the end of next year. As a result of this development, UScellular will also be able to leverage Nokia’s cloud-native, open modular structure to introduce and scale future network functions for new revenue opportunities.

Mike Irizarry, EVP and CTO for UScellular, said: “As we continue to expand and enhance our 5G network, we value the innovation and support that Nokia provides to help us deliver a superior wireless experience to our residential and business customers. As we deploy 5G SA core, Nokia brings expertise, technology excellence and the right mix of hardware, software and services to meet our requirements for high performance and low latency.”

UScellular already uses Nokia's AirScale radios for both low-band and mmWave 5G and in June the two partnered with Qualcomm Technologies to achieve a world record extended range over mmWave. At a distance of approximately 10km the three achieved average downlink speeds of ~1 Gbps, and uplink speeds reaching approximately 57Mbps. Additionally, ~750 Mbps downlink speed was recorded at a distance of more than 11km.

Ed Cholerton, president of Nokia North America, said: “We are thrilled to be selected by UScellular to deliver a full 5G experience to its customers. Our 5G SA core and 5G radios provide not only new capabilities, scale, operational efficiencies, and revenue opportunities, but drive a far better user experience that customers expect.

"Working with UScellular to provide the core network function software and cloud infrastructure continues our momentum in the North American standalone 5G core market,” Cholerton added.