GCI on track to complete buildout of nation’s northernmost 5G network

May 1, 2020

GCI continues to roll out new network—45% of 5G wireless project now complete

ANCHORAGE, Alaska—On April 17, GCI officially launched the nation’s northernmost 5G wireless network and today Alaska’s largest telecommunications provider hit a new project milestone:  Thirty-two GCI cell sites are now fully upgraded to 5G.  Those sites represent 45% of the 70 Anchorage sites GCI intends to upgrade in 2020.  

A team of GCI employees and contractors spent over two years designing and building this project, which has not only delivered the first standards-based 5G network to Anchorage but has also improved 4G LTE speeds for all GCI wireless customers across the city.  GCI has partnered with Ericsson to upgrade its Anchorage cell sites.  When the project is completed, every sector of each cell site will be outfitted with five radios to utilize GCI’s low-band and mid-band radio spectrum, driving massive improvements in speed and coverage, particularly in-building coverage. GCI’s fiber network, the backbone of the project, will deliver broadband connectivity to each of the upgraded cell sites.

“With more people accessing our wireless network than ever, there’s never been a more important time for connectivity you can depend on,” said Maureen Moore, GCI Chief Customer Experience Officer. “5G offers a more versatile and reliable mobile experience. Our upgraded network provides our customers access to the best speeds, coverage, and performance. We couldn’t be more excited to provide this technology in Anchorage.” 

GCI has made significant investment in Anchorage over the past two years and essentially reinvented the Anchorage wireless network to deliver seamless data connectivity to Alaskans.  GCI’s new, vastly more capable network will operate five times faster than before, and it will serve as the blueprint for GCI’s network modernization efforts in other Alaska cities.

5G will pave the way for new, now-unknown applications and services in the same way 3G and 4G LTE made possible telehealth services and ride-sharing apps.  With 5G comes new possibilities, such as smart cities and incredible opportunities for innovation in Alaska’s largest city.

“At GCI, we’ve always pushed to deploy the latest technology, not just for the sake of being first to market but because it improves the lives of Alaskans,” said Josh Lonn, Vice President of GCI Wireless Products. “We’re delivering this new platform for innovation so our customers can take full advantage of emerging applications and technologies that will evolve in the months and years to come.”

Over the past 40 years, GCI has invested more than $3 billion to deliver communications services throughout Alaska. GCI employs 2,000 Alaskans and serves more than 200 communities across the state.

For more information about GCI and its 5G network, visit https://www.gci.com/.

About GCI

GCI provides data, mobile, video, voice and managed services to consumer and business customers throughout Alaska. GCI has delivered services for nearly 40 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com. GCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of GCI Liberty, Inc. (Nasdaq: GLIBA, GLIBP). Learn more about GCI Liberty at www.gciliberty.com.

Media contact:

Heather Handyside, GCI

907-301-3481; hhandyside@gci.com