T-Mobile and GCI have announced an historic partnership, immediately allowing T-Mobile customers with 5G phones to access next generation networking while roaming in Anchorage, Alaska, which makes T-Mobile the first and only wireless provider to offer 5G coverage in all 50 US states.
“The massive nationwide 5G network we’re building and expanding by the day - paired with important partnerships like this - extend our 5G leadership over the competition and deliver meaningful 5G experiences to our customers,” said Neville Ray, president of technology at T-Mobile. “Now, our customers with 5G devices can keep 5G service when in Alaska. And to GCI customers, welcome to nationwide 5G.”
"America's largest" network
As part of the contra agreement, the new partnership will also give GCI customers roaming access to T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network, which the company now claims is “America’s largest”, covering more than one million square miles and nearly 6,000 cities and towns.
“GCI and T-Mobile have a long history of ‘firsts’ together,” said GCI President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Chapados. “GCI and T-Mobile launched the nation’s first LTE roaming partnership in 2014 and were the first providers to partner together to deliver voice over LTE service. Today’s partnership marks another first and a tremendous milestone! GCI congratulates the T-Mobile team on being the first wireless provider to offer 5G service in all 50 states. The partnership is a win for both companies and for GCI customers who will be able to access 5G service on the nation’s largest 5G network.”
In partnership with Ericsson, GCI launched its Hometown 5G project on April 17th, turning on its first 5G sites and making it the northernmost 5G carrier in the US. Over the last 40 years GCI has invested more than $3 billion in Alaskan infrastructure, to deliver communications services throughout the State.
"Our Hometown 5G project is introducing standards-based 5G NR technology to Alaska," continued Duncan. "5G is a fundamental enabling technology. As it matures, 5G will support innovative consumer and business applications, including IoT (internet of things), smart cities, connected vehicles, and eHealth."
Future GCI 5G expansion opportunities include Juneau, Fairbanks and other fiber-served communities.