UScellular CEO Laurent Therivel outlined plans to conduct market trials of 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) in Q1 2021, aiming to refine its strategy around the technology based on consumer response.
In a Q3 earnings call, Therivel said a key question it hopes to answer is whether there is enough customer demand to warrant network expansion specifically for FWA, rather than simply using the technology to monetise excess capacity on its mobile 5G network.
“Assuming that we get good customer uptake, you can expect to see us continue to roll that out in more geographies and be fairly aggressive behind it.”
The move follows its tests of long-range FWA technology using mmWave spectrum with Ericsson and Qualcomm in September, and comes as it pushes to cover all its markets with 5G by end-Q1 2021.
Therivel added the operator is exploring new use cases in agriculture, healthcare and education, noting the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic could help accelerate adoption of products in the latter two. However, he said it was considering whether it might be able to deliver those using existing 4G technology rather than 5G.
Profit attributable to UScellular shareholders of $85 million was up from $23 million in Q3 2019, with revenue flat at $1.02 billion.
It added 28,000 post-paid connections, driven by connected device additions, compared with a loss of 19,000, with prepaid gains of 11,000 increased from 9,000.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back