The speeds of 5G wireless are coming to the Magnolia state sooner than you may think.
C Spire was the first to bring the technology to Mississippi back in 2016, and they conducted their latest successful test of the innovative speed last week. While the speed may not make its way to cell phones just yet, it will provide increased internet access and faster speeds to rural areas across Mississippi.
“A lot of people associate the “G” with the mobile device,” C Spire President Stephen Bye said. “The challenge is that it takes years for the technology to make its way into mobile phones, and we saw it with 3G and 4G. The beauty of fixed wireless and this technology is that we can deploy it, and we put it on a base station, on the side of a home or business and deliver an experience before it goes into a mobile phone, and we can begin to take advantage of this technology.”
Bye says that having a deep fiber network supporting the new technology is just as important to ensure that the speeds are able to be achieved. A heavy importance has also been placed on delivering improved speeds to rural areas which make up a majority of the state of Mississippi, and that’s what this push for 5G has been about for the company.
“It’s allowing us to deploy more speed to more people,” Bye explained. “This 5G revolution is all about delivering more speed at a lower cost and making it more affordable for everyone in our extensive network.”
The latest test was done by putting the technology in everyday situations and testing the strength of the signal, and its ability to get through trees, interference and different heights.
“What it does is it allows us to test it and make sure that as we take this tech out of the lab, that we can deploy it in a real-world environment and give customers the experience that we are offering,” Bye said.
In the test, the technology was able to deliver 500 megabits per second with 45 megahertz of spectrum capacity…and while that may sound like overly technical terms, Bye says that is “extraordinary in terms of efficiency and how much data that can be pushed through that narrow amount of spectrum.”
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr was on hand for the test, and was able to see the innovative tests taking place. Bye says that Carr spoke of how the new opportunities will create a stronger network in the state and new jobs to keep the network maintained.
Cohere Technologies is a Santa Clara based company that developed the 5G technology, and they say that the development of the speeds will benefit everyone.
“C Spire’s demonstration validates how OTFS wireless modulation technology helps carriers overcome the traditional challenges deploying wireless services,” said Cohere Technologies CEO Shlomo Rakib. “C Spire’s dedication to deliver on the promise of true 5G is strategically aligned with Cohere’s efforts, making it an ideal partnership, and a win-win for the industry and customers served by C Spire.”
Bye mentioned that the innovation in this field never stops, but for C Spire it’s all about keeping the customers online.
“5G is the next evolution, but it won’t be long before people talk about 6G coming as well,” he said. “This is going to continue to evolve and technology continues to get better and better. At the end of the day, we’re focused on taking that technology and helping to change and transform the lives of our customers.”
The rollout of 5G across Mississippi could begin over the next year.