Tester Asks Nation’s Cell Carriers to Make Billings a 5G Pilot City
Senator: The Magic City is Ready for You
(Big Sandy, Mont.)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester is asking the nation's cell phone companies to establish a 5G pilot network in Montana's largest city.
Tester is asking carriers, including Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, to consider bringing early 5G service to the city of Billings.
"Billings is indeed a rural city-home to more than 100,000 people, making it a regional hotspot for business, health care, transportation, and culture," wrote Tester. "Its world-class hospitals and schools, its booming agriculture and refining industries, its expanding direct flights and its revitalized downtown district makes Billings a strong candidate for 5G investment."
The next generation 5G wireless service is expected to be up to 100 times faster than current data speeds and doesn't rely on cell towers, but instead on smaller cells spaced closer together.
5G service will likely expand in urban areas long before it reaches rural states like Montana. Tester says establishing a pilot 5G city in Montana will help the companies "understand the perspective and challenges of rural communities."
Tester also pointed out that Billings is the largest city in over 500 miles, making it a regional hub for thriving commerce in frontier America.
Earlier this year Tester successfully secured additional resources to expand wireless coverage across Montana through the Federal Communications Commission's Mobility Fund.
Tester is Montana's only member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the nation's telecommunications laws. His letter to the carriers can be read HERE.