C Spire is delving into the fixed wireless space, as the regional telecom operator announced plans to launch fixed wireless services in eight Mississippi markets.
The news comes as part of a larger announcement that C Spire, which sells both fixed and mobile telecom services, will bring high-speed broadband internet and wireless fiber-based fixed internet to more than 250,000 residential customers and small businesses across the state.
C Spire indicated fixed wireless services with average throughput speeds of 25 Mbps will initially launch in eight markets, primarily in the Mississippi Delta and northeastern Mississippi, with more to be added by the end of the year.
C Spire noted it performed successful tests over the last 18 months that indicated the potential for reaching fixed wireless speeds of 1 Gbps.
“Technology is no longer just an industry sector, it is at the epicenter of a revolution that is transforming how we as a society live, work, and play,” C Spire CEO Hu Meena noted. “From robotics and artificial intelligence to virtual reality and the Internet of Things, a key building block for a solid technology foundation is widespread availability and access to broadband internet. Today’s announcement is our promise to make this infrastructure a reality as we deploy the latest technologies to reach consumers and businesses with the faster, high quality internet connections they’ve come to expect from C Spire.”
The company said it will also roll out its “Wireless Fiber” technology to 70,000 residential and business customers, offering speeds of up to 100 Mbps. C Spire has plans to extend that offering to an additional 130,000 nearby customers in the future.
“Wireless Fiber avoids last-mile fiber construction, which can be slow and expensive, while accelerating internet access availability in more places,” the company said in a statement.
C Spire did not indicate a price for that service, but noted it will leverage its more than 8,000 route miles of fiber optics, mobile broadband infrastructure, cell sites, and spectrum.
AT&T and Verizon are also making headway in the fixed wireless space.
AT&T launched its Fixed Wireless Internet service in Georgia back in April, and just expanded the service to nine to states today, following an eight state expansion in June. Over 160,000 locations are now accessible across 18 states.
The operator is also set to bring trials of its fixed wireless 5G technology to three new cities by the end of the year, building on its effort launched in Austin in June.
Verizon launched fixed wireless 5G customer pilots in five cities back in February, with plans to expand to 11 markets by the middle of the year.
Fixed wireless 5G is expected to by a $40 billion market by 2025, according to a forecast from SNS research. That segment will get a jumpstart via early deployments from AT&T and Verizon, the report indicated, which are expected to drive fixed wireless 5G service revenues to $1 billion by the end of 2019. More on that here.