Ericsson has been selected by regional US telco Appalachian Wireless to support its 5G rollout to rural Eastern Kentucky.

The Swedish vendor will provide its Radio Access Network (RAN) as part of a multi-year modernization project to bring 5G technologies to underserved communities in Appalachia, Kentucky.

Ericsson Appalachian Wireless
– Ericsson

Appalachian Wireless launched 5G services in September of last year, partnering with Ericsson, as the vendor set out to implement Appalachian Wireless network with its cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core solution to support 5G SA rollout, as the telco aims to become the first regional carrier to implement Standalone 5G.

"We're proud to partner with Appalachian Wireless in our shared journey to bridge the rural digital divide," said Eric Boudriau, vice president and head of customer unit regional carriers, Ericsson North America.

The modernization project is set to take place over the next three years, during which time Ericsson will expand its 5G capacity and coverage and replace aging RAN equipment with Ericsson Radio System solutions.

Appalachian Wireless is based in Ivel, Kentucky. According to its website it 'operates an advanced 4G cellular telephone and data network.'

The company, which is legally known as East Kentucky Network, acquired 5G-suitable licenses in both Auction 107 (3.7GHz) and Auction 110 (3.45GHz) and paid a total of $11.8 million to the Federal Communications Commission.