We're partnering with global technology leader Ericsson to deliver 5G service to the Last Frontier.

Starting this summer, GCI wireless customers will experience major upgrades to our hometown network as we ramp up to 5G. This includes faster data speeds, improved coverage and better voice quality all across town, even in basements and big box stores like Freddy’s and the Dimond Mall.

Our network improvements will deliver superior coverage all over Anchorage.

As an Alaska born and raised company, we listen to our neighbors, which is why we’re able to bring you a better mobile experience than any other carrier. Our hometown network improvements will deliver superior coverage all over Anchorage, including Sand Lake, Potters Marsh, Rogers Park, Kincaid Park, and Merrill Field. So, you’ll enjoy the best experience possible when FaceTiming family and friends, working on the go, and doing all things social media.

“... a faster urban wireless network helps Anchorage remain competitive...”

Smart city technology enables the Municipality to deliver services like transit and power more efficiently, reducing costs and improving the lives of our residents. GCI’s investment in a faster urban wireless network helps Anchorage remain competitive and helps us retain and attract business and talent.

-Anchorage Mayor, Ethan Berkowitz

"The introduction of 5G will create a powerful platform for innovation..."

Ericsson and GCI have partnered over the past decade to connect customers in some of the most remote communities in Alaska. We are pleased to continue working with GCI to bring 5G service to Alaska’s biggest city. The introduction of 5G will create a powerful platform for innovation. Using 5G, new use cases benefiting society, consumers and enterprises, will be created. Consumers will benefit from a premium experience with faster speeds and better coverage, while new wireless functionality will accelerate applications for the oil and gas, mining and healthcare industry across Alaska. 

-Ericsson CEO, Börje Ekholm

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Frequently Asked Questions

5G NR (New Radio) is the global standard for a unified 5G (fifth generation) wireless air interface. Other carriers have made the claim that their networks can be considered 5G because of their adoption of certain evolutionary steps toward 5G, but these networks are not true standards-compliant 5G networks. GCI’s 5G service will be the first true 5G to be offered in Alaska.

5G will substantially increase network capacity efficiency, dramatically improving customer experience and paving the way for a host of transformative new technologies and applications.

GCI’s implementation of 5G with substantial additional radio spectrum and GCI’s robust metro fiber network will increase the capacity of our Anchorage wireless network by 10x or more and provide better coverage, particularly indoors. That capacity increase will drive much faster data speeds on customer handsets. Each customer’s experience will vary depending on the age, capabilities, and configurations of their handsets.

With substantially increased speed, customers will enjoy lag-free online gaming and HD video streaming, augmented reality, real-time data insights between connected devices with practically no delay, and much more. But faster speeds aren’t the only benefit of 5G. 5G will enable the implementation of new services over time that aren’t possible on today’s 4G LTE networks.

With 5G, users will be able to experience new technology, faster download/upload speeds, more efficient communication among devices, and ever-present connectivity while on the move. Some of the technologies predicted to be significantly improved, or made possible by 5G’s instant-response capabilities include:

• Faster video downloads
• Real-time language translation
• Self-driving cars with collision avoidance
• Augmented reality
• Remote surgery
• Smart sensors
• A new level of automation and control

In the lower 48, the rollout of 5G began in late 2018 with some carriers introducing 5G fixed wireless service in a small number of cities. Deployments will continue through 2019 with broad availability expected throughout the U.S. in 2020. The GCI project will be completed in 2020 with initial 5G service coming online in the first half of the year.
At this time, your unlimited plan is your unlimited plan, and having a 5G capable device on our 5G network will not affect your rates. There may be future products and services yet to be created that could fall under different rate structures.
Yes. A phone with 5G NR radios will be required to access 5G NR services. Nonetheless, all of GCI’s customers, even those using older, non-5G handsets, will benefit from GCI’s implementation of 5G because of the additional radio spectrum GCI is deploying, which enables faster data speeds.
We are working with the world’s leading handset manufacturers to source the latest 5G devices. Watch for more news as we solidify our 2020 device lineup.

5G relies on carrying information wirelessly through the radio spectrum in different frequency bands. More spectrum means more data speed and more services. GCI controls more low/mid-band spectrum than any other wireless provider in Anchorage, which will ensure a superior experience for residents.

There are different characteristics associated with different “chunks” of spectrum:
600-850MHz
AKA low-band spectrum, delivers excellent in-building coverage

1700-2100MHz
AKA mid-band spectrum, affords great capacity and performance

Mobile networks function by delivering traffic from the user to the cell site, over a wireless connection, then from the cell site to the rest of the world, over a highly secured version of the internet. While other operators must secure transport from fiber providers in their markets, GCI owns and operates a world-class fiber network across Anchorage, allowing us to responsively upgrade and optimize the network in alignment with customer needs.

The electromagnetic frequencies used for 5G are part of the radio frequency spectrum that has been extensively researched in terms of health impacts for decades. Over 50 years of scientific research has already been conducted into the possible health effects of the radio signals used for mobile phones, base stations, and other wireless services including frequencies planned for 5G. 

The data from this research has been analyzed by many expert review groups. Weighing the whole body of science, there is no evidence to convince experts that exposure below the guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) carries any known health risks.

For more information about the studies of 5G and safety, visit https://www.gci.com/mobile/5g/responsibility