C Spire expands low-band coverage to more cell sites

cell tower
A typical cell site that uses low-band spectrum can cover a much broader geographic area than multiple sites using mid-band spectrum.

C Spire is getting its low-band spectrum game on, announcing that it has added 700 MHz or 850 MHz low-band spectrum to more than 900 cell sites, further extending its coverage over longer distances and inside offices, commercial buildings and homes.

The Ridgeland, Mississippi-based company pointed out that much of its service area includes large swaths of undeveloped rural areas with lower population density, so the use of maximum range low-band spectrum helps C Spire deliver on its coverage promise. The multimillion dollar project will be completed in July, boosting coverage over 36,000 square miles throughout the company's service area.

"As a customer-inspired company, we're dedicated to making our network bigger, faster, stronger and more reliable every day," said Alan Jones, senior vice president of network engineering and development, in a press release.  "Whether it's a metropolitan area like Jackson or a rural Delta town like Ruleville, our customers rely on us to keep them connected wherever they are and whatever they are doing."

C Spire is also starting to deploy new technology to 175 additional cell sites that is expected to boost capacity and provide up to 50% faster peak wireless data speeds using software that combines multiple channels to speed mobile data over the network more quickly than before.

C Spire provides service to roughly 1.2 million customers across Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle. Its latest initiative comes on the heels of company efforts over the last two years to deploy more wireless spectrum and boost power on hundreds of its 4G LTE cell sites and expand coverage to new areas along with a myriad of other improvements to routers, switches, processors and cell site equipment to enhance overall network performance. 

RELATED: C Spire achieves 2.2 Gbps in 5G test with Nokia at Mississippi HQ

All that additional LTE capacity and coverage should help in the carrier’s efforts to ramp up for 5G. Last year, C Spire said it was the first company to successfully demonstrate a 5G fixed wireless solution in Mississippi using Nokia equipment with a direct connection to its fiber-based commercial television service.

The test delivered C Spire Fiber consumer television content, including ultra-high definition resolution video, with speeds up to 2.2 Gbps and ultra-low latency below 1.4 milliseconds over the 5G wireless link.

The company planned more real-world trials using candidate 5G technologies and its 28 GHz spectrum into the middle of this year. The carrier described the tests and market trials as cooperative efforts with industry partners to help spur the timely development of 5G standards in the coming years.