ClearSky pitches LTE fixed-wireless networks to small operators

ClearSky Technologies is adding to its suite of rural-focused LTE services with the launch of its FastStart program, which the company said is designed for carriers with small footprint requirements that need to rapidly build an LTE network for fixed-wireless broadband service.

Once operators use the program to get their initial service launched, they can upgrade to a network that supports mobility and roaming, said ClearSky.

Last month, the company announced its license-preservation program, which helps holders of 700 MHz Blocks A and B licenses satisfy the FCC's minimum build-out requirements. That offering includes an LTE radio access network (RAN) and a hosted Evolved Packet Core (EPC).

The company also offers a roaming-enabled, full-scale LTE network that supports 3G circuit switched fallback (CSFB). The new FastStart program is positioned between the license-preservation program and the full-scale LTE networks, ClearSky said.

FastStart enables initial network deployment with as few as two towers as well as access to value-added services such as RF planning and tower installation. ClearSky said FastStart can provide "low ongoing operating expenses in line with fixed wireless revenue opportunities."

"All national carriers have already begun their LTE build-outs, and regional carriers need to move forward now with LTE or risk being left out of the wireless industry," said Dean Fresonke, ClearSky senior vice president of business development. "We developed the FastStart Program to speed and simplify the purchasing, installation and configuration of an LTE fixed wireless network--all at a significantly reduced cost."

ClearSky claims to provide mobile data services to more than 80 wireless operators serving 8 million subscribers across the Americas. The company's portfolio includes LTE, traffic and policy management, multi-generation SMS, MMS and mobile Internet gateway, along with P-SMS and carrier-branded content portals.

Numerous companies have gotten involved in helping rural licensees launch LTE-based broadband networks. In June, West Central Wireless, a subsidiary of the Central Texas Telephone Cooperative, announced it would let other rural operators piggyback services on its planned LTE network. In April, NetAmerica Alliance, an alliance of independent carriers collaborating to build out LTE, initiated an affiliate membership program that will let rural 700 MHz license holders join the group while keeping their options open for a future evolution to IMS.

In addition, Lemko is pitching its LTEe7000p platform as a license saver that helps rural and remote operators meet license compliance requirements. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), meanwhile, has been working with rural partners that want to offer LTE-based mobile services through its Verizon Wireless LTE in Rural America program.

For more:
- see this ClearSky release

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