Nokia and U.S. Cellular boosting spectrum capacity after FCC decision to expand connectivity

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted U.S. Cellular temporary authority to use additional spectrum to boost connectivity due to the anticipated spike in remote working caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • U.S. Cellular and Nokia are working together to deploy this expanded spectrum to  markets experiencing increased traffic demand
  • U.S. Cellular is also using Nokia Endpoint Security solutions to safeguard customers from an increase in COVID-19 malware schemes

Dallas, Texas – Nokia today announced that it is working with U.S. Cellular to boost capacity in several markets, including the Northwest Region of the U.S., where networks are experiencing increased traffic demand due to COVID-19. Additionally, U.S. Cellular and Nokia are helping protect customers from an onslaught of malware related to the pandemic aimed at stealing personal data.                                                                 

The massive movement of people out of their offices, schools and public spaces and into their homes has created an unprecedented surge in mobility and broadband network traffic. To help ensure networks can meet this growing demand, the FCC has granted a 60-day temporary spectrum license to U.S. Cellular and other service providers across the country.

Together, Nokia and U.S. Cellular have deployed this additional spectrum to boost connectivity for U.S. Cellular customers in markets impacted by COVID-19. The temporary spectrum, which is licensed to Advantage Spectrum in the AWS-3 Band, was integrated remotely on Nokia Airscale Radio Access Network (RAN), bringing increased network capacity to 250 sites in parts of California, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.

In addition to keeping customers connected, U.S. Cellular is relying on Nokia's Endpoint Security solutions to detect new and established forms of malware related to COVID-19. Trojans and ransomware masquerading as popular virus outbreak location maps, as well as new apps pretending to locate medical masks, increasingly threaten to proliferate on end-user devices.

Nokia's NetGuard Endpoint Security allows service providers to detect malware across multiple device types and act proactively to minimize its impact. The solution gives U.S. Cellular detailed visibility into exactly which of their customers' devices are affected, the specific type of malware being downloaded, and the malware's overall threat level so their security operations and customer care staff can act accordingly.

Scott Cohen, Head of U.S. Major Account Sales, Nokia, said: “Nokia greatly values our strong and trusted relationship with U.S. Cellular. During this global pandemic, Nokia understands now more than ever the importance of maintaining seamless network connectivity. Whether customers are at home working and streaming video or out in the field performing essential business functions, we are committed to helping U.S. Cellular keep their customers connected to the network from anywhere and at any time, as well as ensuring they can do so safely and securely with our Endpoint Security solutions.”

Mike Irizarry, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Cellular, said: “For more than 10 years, Nokia has served as a trusted partner in helping U.S. Cellular deploy, scale and modernize our networks while keeping our customers safe from new threats. Their latest assistance in helping us launch this additional spectrum enables us to continue delivering our customers a fast, rich and uninterrupted network experience throughout this critical time.”

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