C Spire revealed more about its “aggressive plan” to launch additional 5G markets, saying it will spend $1 billion over the next three years to speed the deployment of 5G and fiber in key parts of its service area in the southeastern United States.
The regional carrier hinted at its plans late last year, when it was expanding 5G to parts of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Based in Ridgeland, Mississippi, C Spire expects to offer ultra-fast, all-fiber broadband services to more than 200,000 homes and businesses in Mississippi and Alabama by 2025.
“We have a strong reputation of providing world-class products and services to consumers and businesses and this investment signals that we intend to deliver these benefits faster than ever before,” said C Spire CEO Hu Meena in a statement.
The $1 billion investment is the largest capital spend in company history, and he noted that the firm will make the initial investment in three years with another $500 million in capital spending over a five-year period.
In a press release, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, praised C Spire’s commitment to rapid deployment of 5G service to virtually every major part of the state with the activation of more than 300 sites by the end of this year.
“I’m thrilled to see that C Spire is investing so much to build out its high-speed internet infrastructure to support the future of education, health care, technology, and small business in Mississippi,” Wicker stated. “Because we live in a digital world, better, faster internet connections are critical to keeping our state competitive and boosting our $100 billion-plus economy.”
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C Spire’s initial 5G launch will be with Nokia equipment using 600, 700 and 1900 MHz spectrum. The operator also will use 2.5 GHz and 28 GHz in the future and will be conducting trials with other vendors, according to a spokesperson.
C Spire told Fierce last year that its initial 5G launch uses the non-standalone (NSA) mode, which relies on LTE for signaling between user devices and the network. The company made a significant investment in an LTE network upgrade over the last few years, deploying carrier aggregation, additional 2.5 GHz spectrum, and support for Voice over LTE (VoLTE), among other features.