Appalachian Wireless Taps Ericsson 5G to Modernize RAN

Appalachian Wireless

Ericsson has announced that Appalachian Wireless, an East Kentucky Network (EKN) company, has chosen Ericsson for a multi-year Radio Access Network (RAN) modernization project to bring world-class 5G technologies to underserved communities in Appalachia.

The partnership marks a step forward in connectivity and technological advancement for the mountainous region, where Appalachian Wireless is the sole network provider for many households and businesses.

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“We’re proud to partner with Appalachian Wireless in our shared journey to bridge the rural digital divide,” said Eric Boudriau, Vice President and Head of Customer Unit Regional Carriers, Ericsson North America. “The project will offer transformative 5G services to hundreds of communities in eastern Kentucky and unlock a new era of growth, economic opportunity, and connectivity in the region powered by cutting-edge technology.”

Appalachian Wireless aims to be the first regional carrier to implement 5G standalone (SA) to bridge the digital divide in rural America. Through the modernization project, set to take place over the next three years, Ericsson will expand their 5G capacity and coverage and replace aging RAN equipment with Ericsson Radio System solutions.

“For over three decades, we’ve been committed to bringing connectivity to customers in eastern Kentucky,” said Mike Johnson, CEO at Appalachian Wireless. “No other carrier cares for Appalachia as we do, and we look forward to joining forces with Ericsson to meet the region’s growing needs as we prepare to deploy 5G.”

Ericsson is slated to provide equipment, including its market-leading Ericsson Radio System and energy efficiency software, with the majority of modernization efforts taking place in 2023 and 2024.

In September 2022, Appalachian Wireless, selected Ericsson to modernize its network with 5G capabilities. Under the agreement, Ericsson undertook to modernize Appalachian Wireless’ network with its cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core solution to support 5G SA rollout.

Ericsson has been connecting the US for nearly 120 years, and today, our equipment is live across all 50 states. While we provide infrastructure to many nationwide communication services providers, we have served hundreds of rural operators, including nine of the top 10 rural operators across the country, for over ten years.