- The initiative is part of the FCC's Connect America Fund Phase
II program to expand access to broadband services in rural
- The new partnership allows Illinois Electric Cooperative to
utilize cutting edge 4G Massive MIMO to deliver superior
- Through XtremeLTE, Ericsson is helping both unserved and
underserved broadband market providers modernize their networks to
connect businesses and communities, including the ability to
upgrade to 5G RAN equipment in the future
Texas, April 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Illinois
Electric Cooperative (IEC), an Illinois-based electric service provider, has
selected Ericsson, through its strategic partnership with
XtremeLTE, to modernize networks in rural Pike County, Illinois. The project involves
Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) delivered through the Citizens
Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum.
The new partnership, which is part of the Federal Communications
Commission's (FCC) Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF-II),
will support IEC's efforts to improve capacity, coverage, and user
experience for its customers. The project deployed in the fourth
quarter of 2021.
"Illinois Electric Cooperative is taking a major step towards
expanding connectivity and broadband services in areas where they
are unavailable," said Matt
Haverfield, Network Operations Manager for Illinois Electric
Cooperative. "The selection of Ericsson, through their partnership
with XtremeLTE, allows us to create private networks with superior
uplink and downlink performance, and create an infrastructure that
is affordable and enables reliable and quality communication
IEC sought vendors that could comply with the FCC's challenging
Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF-II) Above-Baseline performance
tier on a massive scale. After an extensive evaluation process, IEC
through Vantage Point Solutions (a third-party independent
engineering consultant firm) conducted a field test at XtremeLTE's
facility in Wellsboro,
Pennsylvania, whereby the operator successfully demonstrated
Ericsson FWA equipment's capability in delivering a minimum 100
Mbps downlink and 20 Mbps uplink.
"CAF-II performance requirements are stringent, so a robust
evaluation process was in the best interest of IEC's long-term
success," says Jay Briscoe,
Engineering Staff at Vantage Point Solutions. "Our team has enjoyed
working with IEC on their FWA deployment in rural Illinois, and this process was an extension of
that support. Vantage Point Solutions congratulates Ericsson and
XtremeLTE on their selection.
Under the new agreement, XtremeLTE will be providing Ericsson
Radio System which includes future-proof product lines supporting
CBRS, as well as the Educational Broadcast Services (EBS) and
Private LTE capabilities that were previously dependent on Wi-Fi
The partnership will also bring Ericsson's AIR 6488 Advanced
Antenna System (AAS) solution to more than 50 sites across
Illinois. AAS enables
state-of-the-art beamforming and Massive MIMO, powerful tools for
fostering large-scale deployments in existing and future mobile
networks. Through these solutions, IEC will achieve significant
performance gains, with the capability to upgrade to 5G New Radio
(NR) when needed.
"CBRS in the 3.5GHz band will have big implications for building
private LTE networks and in improving 4G and 5G service offerings,"
said Bill Chotiner, Vice President
& Chief Technology Officer for Customer Unit Regional Carriers,
Ericsson North America. "This
partnership allows us to continue bringing ultra-high-speed
broadband to rural communities in America, and it comes at a
critical time where service providers like Illinois Electric
Cooperative are looking to scale their offerings, launch more use
cases and protect existing services."
Ericsson and the XtremeLTE strategic partnership was first
announced in October 2019, and is
focused on assisting the Wireless Internet Service Providers
(WISPs) and the fixed wireless industry in obtaining and deploying
Ericsson's carrier-class LTE equipment. XtremeLTE creates a
foundation for enabling full, end-to-end broadband deployment,
where WISPs or FWA providers will be able to reach more customers
with higher speeds, and wide-area coverage and capacity.
XtremeLTE is proud and excited to support IEC with their CAF II
Fixed Wireless network project in rural Illinois. This project aligns perfectly with
XtremeLTE's mission of bringing fast reliable broadband services to
rural communities that need immediate access to the Internet.
XtremeLTE currently supports over 40 Fixed Wireless Access networks
across the USA. Through XtremeLTE, these networks can provide
service to their communities in months or even weeks, compared to
waiting years for fiber.
David Tews, President of Xtreme
LTE commented, "The combination of Ericsson's technology and
XtremeLTE's unique ability to deliver quickly from our warehouse in
Pennsylvania, has made it possible
for us to deploy carrier grade networks in as little as 30 days.
This rapid deployment solution helps our rural communities support
the demand for high-speed Internet today."
NOTES TO EDITORS
Ericsson Radio System
Ericsson Fixed Wireless Access
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