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.

5G Services

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.

Fiber Broadband

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.

Adam Simmons covers Towers for Dgtl Infra, including American Tower (NYSE: AMT), Crown Castle (NYSE: CCI), SBA Communications (NASDAQ: SBAC), Cellnex Telecom (BME: CLNX), Vantage Towers (ETR: VTWR), IHS Holding (NYSE: IHS), and many more. Within Towers, Adam focuses on the sub-sectors of ground-based cell towers, rooftop sites, broadcast / radio towers, and 5G. Adam has over 7 years of experience in research and writing for Towers.


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