C-Spire is the first regional carrier in the US to go public on 5G test plans, plotting "upcoming field tests" with Nokia in July.
The operator confirmed to Light Reading Tuesday reports that it is working with Nokia Networks on 5G. Senior Media Relations Manager Dave Miller wasn't able to add much more detail yet but he did point towards a license request relating to the tests.
"I checked with our network and engineering teams and we are still very early in the planning process so I don’t expect to have any more details for you at this time other than what was in the FCC application," Miller tells Light Reading.
C-Spire operates in Mississippi, where it has been steadily deploying an LTE network. (See C Spire Engineer: Major Concerns About VoLTE.)
This means that five carriers (or their vendor partners) in the US have been granted -- or applied for -- experimental licenses to test radios in the centimeter or millimeter bands. This is because the FCC is hoping to open up more of those frequencies for 5G applications in the near future.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), T-Mobile US Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) are also undertaking upper freqency tests this year. Most are looking at 15GHz or 28Ghz tests, but Sprint is also experimenting with 68GHz-76GHz radios.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading