Ericsson Wins $53M Contract to Build Out Rural FWA Services for Watch


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Watch Communications entered into a partnership with Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) as part of its $53 million project with the Connect America Fund II to deliver increased internet connectivity to rural communities in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.

This partnership, which is the first between Ericsson and Watch, is set to provide rural customers with broadband solutions leveraging Ericsson’s products and services. Watch will use Ericsson’s Radio System hardware and software to build its fixed wireless access network in areas where Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and licensed spectrum will be used.

Watch will have access to Ericsson 4×4 and 64×64 Massive MIMO solutions that the companies say offer higher system capacity and reliability compared to competing LTE solutions.  

Ericsson will also provide network management and CBRS solutions, and the network can be smoothly evolved to 5G in the near future, according to the companies. “Watch is an example of how a rural internet service provider can leverage best-in-class solutions from Ericsson in the delivery of robust broadband services at a level equal to the national players,” says Watch Communications President/CEO Chris Daniels.  

Rob Johnson, Head of Customer Unit Regional Carriers for Ericsson North America, says: “Ericsson is pleased to work closely with Watch to narrow the connectivity gap in rural America. This is the mission of our team, and we look forward to becoming a strong partner and evolving the relationship in the future.”

Watch started offering FWA to help close the digital divide for Americans living in rural areas of Ohio. The work began 15 years ago and has since expanded into Indiana and Illinois.

October 15, 2019

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