C Spire boosts Tallahatchie cell sitesBy DAVE MILLER,
RIDGELAND — C Spire consumers and businesses in parts of the Mississippi Delta, including Tallahatchie County, are experiencing faster speeds and better connections with the completion of a 10-month project to deploy more spectrum and add capacity to the wireless network.
The multi-million-dollar project, which started in February and is virtually complete this month, targeted 53 cell sites in 13 Delta counties and 252 cell sites in 41 counties statewide for the enhancements, which have improved capacity and speeds for thousands of customers as a result of the additional spectrum and carriers.
C Spire, a Mississippi-based telecommunications and technology services company, operates the nation’s largest privately-owned mobile services firm. The targeted program is part of the firm’s broader efforts to strengthen its core network and prepare for the next generation of cellular technology.
The spectrum project comes on the heels of a separate, massive company effort to install new base stations and software at all of its 1,200-plus cell sites that will serve as the foundation for C Spire’s transition to 5G, which promises to radically alter how consumers live, work and play and how businesses thrive in the new 21st century digital economy.
“As a customer-inspired company, we are constantly fine tuning our network to ensure adequate capacity, performance and speeds so that consumers and businesses in the Delta and across Mississippi can rely on us for all of their personal and professional mobile voice and data needs,” said Brian Caraway, general manager of C Spire’s wireless unit.
Caraway said the company has used some of its supply of of low- and mid-band spectrum and added capacity and carriers where needed to improve speeds and connections. “We have added carriers at these sites that, in many cases, have doubled capacity and tripled speeds – depending on the need,” he noted.
Much of the work in the Delta has improved the performance of 46 cell sites, including:
• A Bolivar County cell site near Rosedale where doubling low-band spectrum and increasing mid-band spectrum resulted in dramatic speed and capacity improvements
• Seven Grenada County sites where capacity was doubled at sites and speeds boosted with mid-band spectrum upgrades
• Three Carroll County sites where low-band spectrum was doubled to boost speeds and capacity
• A Sharkey County cell site near Rolling Fork where doubling low-band spectrum boosted cellular speeds and aided capacity offload
• A Holmes County cell site where high-band spectrum was added to existing low-band to boost capacity and speeds
• Four Humphreys County sites where low-band spectrum was doubled to boost speeds and capacity
• Nine Leflore County sites where low-band spectrum was doubled to boost speeds and capacity
• Two Montgomery County sites where low-band spectrum was doubled to boost speeds and capacity
• Three Panola County sites where low-band spectrum was doubled to boost speeds and capacity
• Eight Sunflower County sites where mid-band spectrum was added to boost data speeds
• Five Tallahatchie County sites where the addition of mid-band carriers resulted in a 50% increase in bandwidth
• Two Yalobusha County sites that serve the towns of Water Valley and Coffeeville where capacity and speed improvements have been aided by mid-band spectrum upgrades
• Seven Coahoma County sites where low-band spectrum was tripled and mid-band bandwidth was boosted by 50%, resulting in increased speeds and capacity, particularly in Clarksdale.
“We’re using carrier aggregation technology, which brings together spectrum from multiple frequency bands for improved speed and spectral efficiency, and other software and hardware improvements to achieve better speeds and pave the way for Voice over LTE or high-definition mobile voice service coming soon,” said Alan Jones, senior vice president of Access and Deployment for C Spire.
The pre-5G project features new base stations and radios that are adaptable, powerful and able to meet C Spire’s future needs for a next generation cellular network, software-defined services and the Internet of Things. “Not only does this new technology deliver high quality connectivity and coverage, but it helps us quickly evolve to meet customer expectations,” Jones said.