Life

Letter to the editor: U.S. Cellular President discusses 5G coming to Fairfield

To the editor,

At U.S. Cellular, we strive to provide an exceptional wireless experience for our customers. We have proudly served the Fairfield community for the past 30 years.

Over this period, we have used various radio technologies to meet the needs of our customers, including AMPS, CDMA (3G) and LTE (4G). We are excited to bring our next-generation 5G network to customers in the area.

We understand that the march to progress has some residents concerned about how our plans will affect them. I want to set the record straight about how we are modernizing our network with the introduction of 5G, address concerns residents may have about the effect of this technology on their health and explain some of the benefits of 5G.

We plan to launch our 5G network in Fairfield in the first quarter of the year. This deployment will be on our 600MHz spectrum — also called low-band spectrum.

This 600MHz spectrum is lower than the 700MHz we have used for 4G service the past eight years. Our engineers have been busily replacing base stations in these towers with software-upgradable basebands, meaning new 5G features can be incorporated by adding new software rather than replacing hardware in the future. We also are installing new antennas and radios to support 5G service.

Additionally, you may have heard about millimeter-wave spectrum — or high-band spectrum — being deployed for 5G, which would include placing antennas on existing light posts or traffic lights. Our initial 5G deployment doesn’t include millimeter-wave spectrum. We have no current plans for millimeter-wave spectrum in Fairfield.

Regarding possible health concerns related to 5G wireless service, I defer to the experts who have done the research, including the federal agency charged with regulating wireless service. Just four weeks ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order saying, “There is no evidence to support that adverse health effects in humans are caused by exposures at, under, or even in some cases above, the current RF limits. Indeed, no scientific evidence establishes a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses.”

This information is supported by the World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society. More expert information from those organizations can be found at www.wirelesshealthfacts.com.

We are excited to bring 5G service to Fairfield and throughout Iowa because it will benefit both consumers and businesses. For our customers, it will bring faster data speeds and a more responsive mobile experience.

Business benefits include enhanced internet of Things (IoT) solutions and efficiencies for mobile workforces. 5G also has the potential to increase public safety, create jobs, boost the economy and provide new and exciting health care options.

At U.S. Cellular, our top priority is to provide a great wireless experience for our customers through a high-quality network that keeps them connected to the people and information important to them. We look forward to bringing the latest innovations and technology to the Fairfield community for years to come.

Kenneth R. Meyers, President and CEO of U.S. Cellular