Verizon and AT&T are just ramping up trials of their 5G fixed wireless technology, but it seems someone’s beaten them to the commercial punch.
Wireless internet service provider Redzone Wireless on Thrursday announced it has activated the first phase of its 5Gx fixed wireless broadband network in a handful of areas in Maine. According to Redzone, the new network utilizes unlicensed spectrum in the 5.1 GHz to 5.8 GHz range alongside Redzone’s licensed 2.5 GHz spectrum to provide speeds of up to 450 Mbps.
“Redzone is leading the market in the delivery of fixed wireless broadband technology for both residential and commercial applications, and our new integrated technology platform clearly has potential applications and scalability well beyond Maine” Redzone Wireless Vice President Michael Forcillo said in a statement. “The activation of our new 5Gx network is critical to keeping pace with the increasing consumer demand for broadband we see in Maine on a daily basis.”
Redzone’s 5Gx network uses both licensed LTE and unlicensed wireless broadband technologies on a single tower and combines them using a proprietary operational support system. The company indicated this strategy provides operational efficiencies through spectrum aggregation, including the ability to seamlessly switch customers between the wireless platforms.
Formed in 2014 to build a wireless broadband network in Maine, Redzone Wireless has been offering a statewide 4G LTE-Advanced network since June 2015 and multi-spectrum fixed wireless broadband since 2016. The new 5Gx network, which was completed in less than six months, will now provide enhanced service to around 50,000 housholds in 10 markets in Maine, including Portland, Bangor, Augusta, Sanford, Waterville, Lewiston, Auburn, Camden, Rockland, and Topsham.
“Redzone Wireless has propelled Maine into the era of 5G Fixed Wireless Access (5G FWA),” Wireless 20/20 Senior Analyst Berge Ayvazian commented. “By aggregating FCC licensed 2.5 GHz and unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum bands, Redzone is significantly increasing its network performance and service capacity to level the playing field for Maine’s urban and rural populations. While Verizon and AT&T are conducting field trials of future 5G FWA, Redzone is already putting 5Gx FWA to work for the benefit of its current and future customers.”