U.S. Cellular to expand 5G service in Iowa

U.S. Cellular announced plans Wednesday to roll out 5G coverage in numerous Iowa and Wisconsin cities, including Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Iowa City and Marion.

Coverage will begin during the first quarter of 2020, the company said in a news release. A spokesman said the company couldn’t provide a cost for the expansion.

The 5G service will be on U.S. Cellular’s 600 MHz spectrum, helping customers access faster data speeds and connect more devices to the network simultaneously.

As the company replaces base stations with software-upgradable basebands — the initial frequency range of a signal — and moves radios up towers, coverage is expected to be bolstered in rural communities and customers with 4G devices will begin to see increased network quality, U.S. Cellular said.

“Iowa and Wisconsin are two of our largest markets, and we’re excited to introduce 5G technology to customers in both urban and rural communities where other carriers have not,” Michael Irizarry, executive vice president and chief technology officer of U.S. Cellular, said in the release.

The 5G expansion makes phase one of a multi-year plan for U.S. Cellular to grow its network, and a result of previous investments in network technology to modernize equipment and software.

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