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Nokia and Choice NTUA Wireless bring high-speed mobile broadband to Navajo Nation

  • Choice NTUA Wireless is deploying Nokia AirScale 4G LTE RAN for fixed wireless access within the Navajo Nation to provide high-speed internet services.
  • SAC Wireless, a Nokia company, is building the network utilizing 600 MHz, Citizens Broadband Radio Spectrum (CBRS) and Educational Broadband Services (EBS) spectrum to rapidly add extra coverage and capacity.
  • Funded through a CARES grant provided in response to COVID-19 impact on the community, the project requires that all sites be operational by the end of 2020.  
  • Nokia AirScale 4G LTE RAN solutions are 5G-ready to future-proof the network.

19 October 2020

Dallas, Texas – Nokia and Choice NTUA Wireless today announced that they are building a fixed wireless network that will span across the Navajo Nation to bring broadband connectivity to tribal members.

Choice NTUA Wireless will use the spectrum-agnostic Nokia AirScale 4G LTE RAN to deploy its network in 600 MHz, CBRS and EBS spectrum to support a variety of business and consumer applications that require high bandwidth and low latency. Multigenerational homes require enough bandwidth to simultaneously support online schooling, working from home, remote patient care, and entertainment, while businesses seek to sell more products and services online.  

Located in the Northeast corner of Arizona that includes the “Four Corners,” the Navajo Nation’s remote location creates challenges around cost-effectively installing infrastructure for deploying high-speed internet. Choice NTUA Wireless has long been committed to providing voice and data service to the region to meet tribal members’ residential and business connectivity requirements. Its parent company, ATN International, was one of the top acquiring companies for CBRS priority access licenses (PAL), gaining critical new spectrum to deploy Fixed Wireless Access across the Navajo Nation and in other rural areas in the U.S.

Tom Guthrie, SVP – General Manager, Choice NTUA Wireless said: “While COVID-19 has impacted all communities, the Navajo Nation was hit particularly hard. We have had a long-term partnership with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority to provide voice and data service across the nation, and our partnership with Nokia and SAC Wireless for this important project allows us to deliver the additional capacity and coverage required to support increased bandwidth needs for education, telehealth and remote workforces.”

John Harrington, SVP, U.S. Major Accounts, Nokia said: “Choice NTUA Wireless was an early proponent for CBRS spectrum and Nokia is a leader in CBRS-based solutions. This partnership will provide the Navajo Nation with the high-speed LTE coverage it needs today, while our 5G-ready AirScale solution ensures that the network can evolve to 5G when needed.”

Cari Shyiak, President and CEO at SAC Wireless said: “Bridging the digital divide for the Navajo Nation opens up opportunities for Native-owned businesses to grow and for valued citizens to gain access to essential services including 911, online education and telehealth. To deploy Nokia 4G LTE RAN solutions over a wide expanse of tribal land, we will be leveraging SAC’s end to end deployment capabilities and experience rolling out networks. With a strong execution team in place, we can meet the deadline while delivering the top tier quality and safety we built the SAC brand upon. This project kicked off in October and runs through the end of the year.”


About Nokia
We create the technology to connect the world. Only Nokia offers a comprehensive portfolio of network equipment, software, services and licensing opportunities across the globe. With our commitment to innovation, driven by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs, we are a leader in the development and deployment of 5G networks.

Our communications service provider customers support more than 6.4 billion subscriptions with our radio networks, and our enterprise customers have deployed over 1,300 industrial networks worldwide. Adhering to the highest ethical standards, we transform how people live, work and communicate. For our latest updates, please visit us online and follow us on Twitter @nokia and @NokiaNAM.

About SAC Wireless
SAC Wireless helps customers keep the world connected with our ideas, innovations and solutions. SAC offers a complete portfolio of self-performing services to support major network builds, 5G LTE upgrades and indoor/outdoor small cell and distributed antenna systems (DAS) deployments. The company's core business consists of fully integrated network solutions, specializing in site development, architectural and engineering design management, construction services and management, equipment installation, commissioning and integration, operations and maintenance.  

SAC works with telecom carriers, major tower owners, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across the United States. We bring more than two decades of experience to help our customers design, build and upgrade cellular networks. By choosing us to build their networks, customers have made SAC the #1 turnkey network construction company in the United States. SAC wireless is a wholly-owned, independently-operating Nokia company. Follow us on LinkedIn:

About Choice NTUA Wireless 
Choice NTUA Wireless is a facilities based carrier that is majority Navajo-owned through NTUA (Navajo Tribal Utility Authority). Choice NTUA Wireless formally launched in 2014 and provides 4G LTE fixed/mobile broadband and voice across the Navajo Nation. 98% of its network is 4G and its customers enjoy the ability to access their voice and data from anywhere in the continental U.S. 

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