Redzone Wireless, a regional broadband provider in the US state of Maine, said it will use mmWave spectrum to boost speeds in its fixed-wireless 5GX product.
The company first launched 5G-branded fixed-wireless service in January using a combination of licensed 2.5GHz and unlicensed 5GHz spectrum. Now, Redzone Wireless said it will add 60GHz airwaves to the mix to raise the current 450Mb/s peak speed into the gigabit range.
“Redzone’s 5GX with millimetre wave significantly increases fixed wireless broadband speed, while substantially reducing network development time and deployment costs associated with fibre-based alternatives,” Redzone Wireless president Jim McKenna said in a statement.
Integration of the new spectrum will begin immediately, with work expected to be completed throughout Redzone Wireless’ network in 2018. The company indicated residential and commercial customers in select areas of Portland, Maine – the state’s largest city – will gain access in the first quarter.
Battling the big operators
Redzone Wireless’ news comes just days after tier-1 rival Verizon announced plans to launch its first fixed-wireless 5G offering in a handful of markets starting in the second half of 2018. Unlike Redzone, Verizon honed in on 28GHz spectrum for its offering.
AT&T is similarly moving toward a 2018 launch of fixed-wireless 5G, following an expansion of its trial programme into three additional cities. AT&T is also working with 28GHz, but experimented with the use of 39GHz spectrum to deliver DirecTV Now content via fixed-wireless.
In September, The Carmel Group predicted the US fixed wireless broadband market will more than double by 2021, with revenue tipped to jump from $2.3 billion in 2016 to $5.2 billion.
The Carmel Group estimated the number of subscribers will grow from 4 million to 8 million over the same period, but Verizon is eyeing a much larger figure: the operator indicated the initial market opportunity for fixed-wireless 5G is around 30 million households.