Nextlink Internet has tapped Alpha Wireless for CBRS-capable antennas as the rural-focused internet and phone service provider works to extend broadband in the Midwestern U.S.
Through owner AMG Technology Investment, Nextlink participated in the FCC’s Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) auction for priority access licenses (PALs) last year. It won more than 1,072 PALs for $28.4 million. Also active in the the FCC’s CAF II and Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) programs, the provider has committed to connect rural communities across 11 states.
Alpha Wireless on Tuesday said the multi-year deployment includes Alpha Wireless AW3161 3.5 GHz antennas, which work with Nokia’s 4G LTE radios that can be upgraded to 5G. Nextlink named Nokia as a vendor partner back in October, and is using Google’s Spectrum Access System (SAS) for CBRS.
Antenna solutions were quickly customized for Nextlink, according to Ireland-based Alpha Wireless, and can deliver high-speed, fixed wireless service to a variety of users in rural locations.
“Our 5G-ready LTE network upgrade will extend access to essential high-speed internet services for remote work, online learning, telehealth services, agricultural IoT, and digital entertainment across America’s heartland,” said Cameron Kilton, CTO at Nextlink, in a statement.
The ISP serves 70,000 customers and the expansion targets residents, small businesses and others across the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, and Wisconsin.
Alpha Wireless is part of the OnGo Alliance and worked with Nextlink on earlier deployments. Its antenna solutions were also deployed for a private network school district near the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area in Texas.
According to the vendor, its designs help reduce tower footprint, speed up rollouts while increasing capacity and the reach of coverage. Its CBRS portfolio includes small cell, beamforming, concealment and tri-sector antennas.
“The Alpha Wireless team has a breadth of experience in 3 GHz-capable antenna design and deployment is critical to our ability to successfully build and deploy the best possible network from our $28.4 million investment in more than 1,000 CBRS Priority Access Licenses which provides our platform for future growth,” Nextlink’s Kilton continued.
At the start of the year Nextlink signed on with American Tower for a long-term agreement to collocate on over 1,000 communication sites to help meet FCC buildout deadlines.