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Thread: 4GLTE-based Fixed Wireless Service

  1. #1
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    4GLTE-based Fixed Wireless Service

    Pioneer Cellular in Oklahoma has begun deployment of their 4G LTE-based fixed wireless internet service. Some friends of mine were the first in this area to have the service installed at their home and I got a chance to see it in action the other day. Pioneer is using the BEC 6200WZL 4G LTE Broadband Router for the service http://bectechnologies.net/portfolio_item/6200wzl/.

    It seemed to work really well, my friends have signed up for the 8 Mbps service and it was delivering just that. Pioneer offers three levels of service, 1.5, 4, and 8 Mbps, starting out at $39 and topping out at $59 with no data caps at either level of service.

    The cellular modem/router has one interesting feature, a jack where a cable modem can be connected for use as backup or the main service with cellular as the backup, either/or. I had never seen any fixed wireless equipment, so it was very interesting to see how they are doing it. I believe Pioneer is using their AWS spectrum for the service. The menu for finding out this information is an installer-only function, so I had no way of finding this out. Pioneer is currently rolling out the service to their entire service area.

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    For a fully unlimited plan, those prices are really affordable. With good QoS rules on a router, that 8Mbps plan should be great for most homes with multiple devices... hopefully they can sustain it.

    In my rural region, people pay $79/month for unlimited 3Mbps and higher... into the hundreds of dollars range depending on speed. Or if they have kids at school, they can sign up for unlimited $20 service but lots of things are blocked to make it kid safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volaris View Post
    For a fully unlimited plan, those prices are really affordable. With good QoS rules on a router, that 8Mbps plan should be great for most homes with multiple devices... hopefully they can sustain it.

    In my rural region, people pay $79/month for unlimited 3Mbps and higher... into the hundreds of dollars range depending on speed. Or if they have kids at school, they can sign up for unlimited $20 service but lots of things are blocked to make it kid safe.
    I was surprised when I looked at their rate card, I thought it would be much more expensive. They have invested a huge amount of money on fiber construction the past few years and are continuing to build more and more. In the latest customer newsletter they talk about the current building program:

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    Viaero Wireless has been offering something very similar since May 2016. They have FINALLY put it on their webpage: http://www.viaero.com/shop/plans/home-phone-internet/

    15GB per day fair use cellular data? Seems reasonable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E_tron View Post
    Viaero Wireless has been offering something very similar since May 2016. They have FINALLY put it on their webpage: http://www.viaero.com/shop/plans/home-phone-internet/

    15GB per day fair use cellular data? Seems reasonable.
    We've been hearing about carriers' plans for fixed wireless service using their cellular spectrum for years, and it's good to see that they are now implementing this service. Some are adding it alongside their regular cellphone service, some POTS companies are replacing their legacy DSL systems with it, all sorts of new implementations. Some have data limits and some don't. It's an exciting time.

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    Also, United Wireless heavily markets and offers unlimited residential LTE service in SW Kansas. They offer this as mobile hotspot, LTE router, and Fixed LTE installations (depending upon coverage). http://unitedwireless.com/4g-lte-wireless-internet These guys have a lot of Band 2 spectrum, i think they acquired it from Sprint during some kind of roaming agreement and when they acquired a local PCS GSM operator.

    Upon more research, it appears ProConnect/Viaero 365 is available all over the San Luis Valley with easy 2 year contracts, but has yet to be offered in outlying HSPA coverage areas and most all of eastern Colorado.

    It is competition at it finest. Viaero is now competing with Fiber to the home in rural America! The San Luis Valley electric coop is using Alacel-Lucent's Fiber to the home internet/TV solution they demoed on LUS Fiber's municipal network to deliver Gigabit internet services to this very rural area of Colorado: http://www.ciello.com/ They are forgoing TV services though, smart move.

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    All very interesting developments. These smaller companies are being very aggressive in their service rollouts, making sure they are providing their customers and service areas with the best options available. I'm sure a lot of them are taking advantage of funding programs such as RUS funding, but that's what it's there for, so good for them. United as you note, along with Pioneer, are offering fiber-to-the-home service, a real challenge in rural areas because of the construction costs, but there they are, they are doing it. Our local phone company here, Dobson Telephone, is offering this service via their Dobson Transport & Technologies division. Dobson sold their cellular division to AT&T several years ago. Things are changing in the telecom area, land-line subscriptions are dwindling rapidly in favor of cellular, and it will be interesting to see how companies like Dobson, who have no cellular presence, will handle the transition. Pioneer Telephone Cooperative has been extremely aggressive in taking up new technologies such as celluar, fixed wireless, and fiber to the home in order to stay relevant, and it looks like United is doing the same.

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