All four of the biggest names in the cellular network market in the U.S. have started rolling out their 5G networks to varying extents of availability. U.S. Cellular, however, is a bit behind, with plans to start rolling out the new network technology this year. To that endeavor, the carrier has opted to use Samsung equipment in both its 4G LTE and upcoming 5G networks, the Korean company announced today.
These partnerships are what allow carriers to deploy service to more customers, so it's not exactly shocking news. Commenting on the announcement, Mike Irizarry, CTO of U.S. Cellular, said:
"We are excited at the prospect of working with Samsung to extend groundbreaking 4G LTE and 5G technology to our customers, expanding what is possible in consumer experiences and business applications."
5G comes in many forms, from the mmWave networks that Verizon has focused on so far - which allows for much higher speeds, but with a much lower range - to the 600 MHz spectrum that T-Mobile has promoted most heavily. Just like T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular's approach is mixed, starting at the low bands in the 600MHz spectrum, and then building up mmWave networks where it makes sense.
Progress in the deployment of 5G isn't relevant just to direct customers of U.S. Cellular. The company is also one of the backbones of Google's Fi service, so this rollout should eventually enable 5G connectivity for those users, too.