Vivint today became an ISP with the official launch of its fixed mobile broadband service.
Vivint Internet promises up to 100 Mbps speeds for download and upload made available through a model that leverages fiber-connected cell towers and hub homes that act as picocells, connecting neighboring homes.
The service already counts 15,000 customers in pilot cities including El Paso, San Antonio and several cities in Utah.
Luke Langford, general manager of Vivint Internet, said the service will launch in three more cities this year and eight more next year. Vivint says it can prop up service in a new market within two to four months of it being announced.
When asked why Vivint would want to enter the competitive ISP market, Langford said his company has firsthand knowledge about people’s general dissatisfaction with Internet service gleaned through its door-to-door marketing efforts around its home automation business.
“We’ve had the opportunity to build a network from scratch in 2015 so we know about video, 4K,” Langford said, explaining how Vivint’s Internet service is built to address some common pain points.
Vivint leases tower space from companies like Crown Castle and American Tower and leveraged licensed spectrum to beam to a hub home, a residence that Vivint offer free internet for life to in exchange for allowing three antennas to be placed on the home.
The hub home then uses unlicensed spectrum to create a 1,000-foot range picocell.
To address peak hour slowdowns, Vivint said it’s built in at least 3-5Mbps per residence. Langford said that bit rate should be able to cover most homes, which on average use about 2 Mbps.
Vivint charges homes within range $59.99 per month with no extra fees for hardware.
In addition to the official service launch, Vivint announced that Stanford professor Arogyaswami J. Paulraj, credited with inventing multiple in multiple out (MIMO) antenna technology, has joined the company as a technical advisor.