C Spire, the sixth largest wireless carrier in the United States, today announced that it is investing $1bn, over the next three years, to accelerate its deployment of 5G service and fiber broadband, with speeds of 1 gigabit per second, in Mississippi and Alabama.
C Spire’s 5G and Fiber Broadband Plan
Overall, C Spire’s investment will result in faster delivery of 5G wireless technology to Mississippi markets. Furthermore, C Spire will provide fiber broadband services, with speeds of 1 gigabit per second, to over 200k homes and businesses by 2025, in Mississippi and Alabama.
C Spire will make its initial $1bn investment over the next three years, with another $500m in capital spending over a period of five years.
Over three years, C Spire will deliver 5G service to nearly 600 sites (i.e., towers and small cells), which represents more than 60% of the state of Mississippi. Indeed, the company will activate over 300 of these 5G sites by the end of 2021.
Upon completion, C Spire’s project will bring fiber infrastructure to within 1k feet of half of Mississippi’s residential premises. Furthermore, C Spire will roll-out fiber broadband services, with speeds of 1 gigabit per second, to over 24 Alabama markets. Indeed, C Spire has already launched fiber broadband services, with speeds of 1 gigabit per second. Specifically, C Spire offers these services for consumers in Jasper, Alabama. Moreover, C Spire will offer these services in Trussville, Alabama in February 2021.
Additionally, C Spire will leverage its prior acquisitions, including Teklinks (managed services) and Harbor Communications (fiber infrastructure), to accelerate its growth and expansion efforts in Mississippi and Alabama.
C Spire’s Fixed Wireless Access Offering
C Spire will also leverage the combination of 5G and broadband services to accelerate its Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) business. Indeed, C Spire is, in part, a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), similar to Nextlink Internet and Starry.
C Spire offers its Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services through unlicensed spectrum, in the 5.8 GHz frequency band. Indeed, this technology functions without the requirement for line-of-sight and has coverage of up to 10 miles. Additionally, C Spire is testing spectrum in the 3.65 GHz, 28 GHz and 60 GHz, bands for use in 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) deployments.
C Spire’s 5G Spectrum Initiatives
C-band (3.7 GHz to 3.98 GHz) 5G Spectrum Auction
Given the $1bn of investment that C Spire has earmarked over the next three years, it is possible that C Spire will purchase a meaningful amount of C-band 5G spectrum. Notably, C Spire is a registered C-band bidder. Therefore, the company could be a small factor, driving record spending in the C-band auction to $80.9bn in gross bids.
2.5 GHz Mid-Band Spectrum Build-Out
In January 2021, C Spire began rolling-out 5G on 2.5 GHz (i.e., Band 41) spectrum, in five Central Mississippi Counties. Indeed, C Spire can offer its 5G customers download speeds of 200 megabits per seconds, using this 2.5 GHz spectrum.
C Spire – Overview
C Spire is the sixth largest wireless carrier in the United States. Beyond wireless, C Spire offers its customers fiber internet, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services, and business IT solutions such as internet, VoIP, cloud, and managed services.