By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – C Spire Wireless plans to roll out a 4G LTE network in Tupelo this September, the company announced Thursday.
The new network will be 10 times faster than the current 3G network, C Spire officials said during the conference call. The network is geared toward data users who browse the Internet, watch videos, play music, share photos and send emails from their mobile devices.
Along with Tupelo, other cities in the first phase include Oxford, Corinth, New Albany, Pontotoc, Booneville, Starkville, Columbus and West Point. Plus, the network will be rolled out in the Jackson metro area, the Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, Meridian and parts of the Delta.
The upgrade represents a $60 million investment.
Jim Richmond, director of the company’s corporate communications, said C Spire doesn’t plan to charge customers extra to access the faster network. He said the company’s personalized plans that were unveiled in September 2011 will apply to 4G usage.
However, customers will have to upgrade to 4G-enabled devices.
He said C Spire will add more 4G devices this fall. Details will be announced later about them, he said.
C Spire originally had planned to roll out 4G by the end of 2011, according to Engadget.com. In 2010, C Spire, which was known then as Cellular South, partnered with Samsung Mobile to build and deploy a fourth-generation mobile broadband network using long-term evolution technology, commonly called 4G LTE.
The agreement, according to a press release, also called for Samsung Mobile to design and launch two LTE-enabled smartphone handsets available in 2011 in Cellular South’s 700 MHz footprint.