Headquartered in Hays, Kansas, Nex-Tech Wireless is considered to be an early adopter of 5G in rural America
Ericsson is extending its relationship with Nex-Tech Wireless to bring commercial 5G services to rural Kansas. Nex-Tech’s 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) network uses Ericsson’s 5G Evolved Packet Core, Cloud IMS and Radio Access Network (RAN) products and solutions, including Ericsson Spectrum Sharing. The partnership will provide high-quality 5G voice and communication services and faster data services to their rural subscribers.
Jon Lightle, president and CEO of Nex-Tech Wireless, commented that Ericsson’s solutions will help “remove the barriers to connectivity while enabling innovation and next generation services.”
Headquartered in Hays, Kansas, Nex-Tech Wireless is considered to be an early adopter of 5G in rural America, and according to Ericsson North America’s Vice President & Chief Technology Officer for Customer Unit Regional Carriers Bill Chotiner, the operator shares the vendor’s opinion that 5G “is key to bridging the digital divide and creating an inclusive digital economy.”
In 2019, Ericsson and Nex-TechWireless worked with the Rural Independent Network Alliance (RINA) Wireless, a cooperative, peer-to-peer association of independent Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to bring 5G coverage to rural America.
At the time, Peter Linder, Ericsson’s vice president of marketing & communications in North America, told RCR Wireless News that 5G has the potential to address five rural use cases, that, while different than those faced in cities, are equally valuable: education, agriculture, green energy production, manufacturing and outdoor recreation.
In metro areas, Linder explained, the challenges are all around density. “In cities, you run into spectrum exhaust,” he said, “so you have an urgent demand to address the fact that you’re running out of 4G, which is driving the decision about where to employ 5G.”
In rural areas, however, there are different challenges. “Where the city is trying to make it smart, the countryside is trying to make it clever,” Linder said.