Wireless Initiatives

GCI announces plan to bring 5G to Alaska’s North Slope, paving way for oil fields of the future

Cutting-edge wireless technology will help enable new tech solutions like IIoT and augmented reality

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – For decades, the North Slope has served as Alaska’s economic engine. To ensure the region can support the oil fields of the future, which will rely even more on technology and connectivity to remain competitive, GCI is deploying the northernmost 5G wireless service in the nation.

The last-mile capabilities of GCI’s 5G wireless network combined with its resilient core fiber network will bring the data connectivity of the future to a key industrial region of Alaska.

“To remain competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace, operators on the North Slope must look at sustainable resource development and technology enhancements to provide increased productivity and efficiency, reducing costs and allowing increased data gathering in real-time for complex decision-making processes,” said Senior Director of GCI Energy & Mining Aaron Helmericks. “GCI has partnered with the energy industry since its inception, supporting not just the needs of the industry now, but anticipating the needs decades from now.”

5G can provide the reliable ubiquitous wireless network connectivity needed to maintain communications with remote equipment, vehicles, inspection drones, mobile industrial internet of things (IIoT) devices, and connected workers. This improves productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and automation of intricate control processes.

These innovative technologies allow oil companies to make faster and better-informed decisions about mission-critical systems through real-time data. With IIoT, wireless sensors connect physical devices, enabling them to talk to each other and to be controlled and monitored remotely. In the past, crews needed to physically visit each location in the field to check for leaks or gather data. But with a push to a smarter digital oil field that allows pulling in previously stranded data, enhanced remote sensors, and remote HD video, workers can avoid unnecessary trips into the field and companies gain real-time awareness with historical behavior analytics.

To learn more about GCI’s work with the energy industry, visit:

About GCI

Headquartered in Alaska, GCI provides data, mobile, video, voice and managed services to consumer, business, government, and carrier customers throughout Alaska, serving more than 200 communities. The company has invested more than $3 billion in its Alaska network and facilities over the past 40 years and recently launched true standards-based 5G NR service in Anchorage, now the nation’s northernmost 5G service area. Learn more about GCI at GCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Broadband Corporation (Nasdaq: LBRDA, LBRDK, LBRDP). Learn more about Liberty Broadband at