WISP Market Snapshot: Global Telecom Targets US with New CPE

Global Telecom Corp., a 10-year-old engineering company based in Newport Beach, Calif., hopes to uncover additional market opportunities for the wireless ISP market within North America—a market that it is just breaking into after selling internationally for many years.

The company is the subject of our first snapshot of the wireless ISP market, which is a rapidly expanding market segment within telecom, offering advanced services to rural and underserved communities.

To spearhead its efforts, Global Telecom has launched three new customer premise equipment (CPE) solutions for WISPs to offer their rural and underserved customers, to serve a variety of use cases. The first offering is a wireless, portable modem for residential access, which targets both WiMAX and LTE operators with support for a range of spectrum bands, including 700MHz, 2.5GHz, 2.3GHz, 3.5GHz and the 3.65GHz bands. The gadget functions like a mobile router, similar to Mi-Fi, creating a hotspot that users can take with them.

A second offering is a static CPE for homes and businesses that includes support for 4G and Wi-Fi, along with a VoIP cord to connect up to two analog landline phones to route calls via the Internet.

The third offering is an external booster for those that are experiencing a low signal. It contains only passive elements and doesn’t require the typical type of enclosure that other outdoor CPE does (to weather the elements). That keeps the costs low, the company explained.

“This is a high-gain antenna that mounts outside the house and connects to the CPE inside,” explained Ahmad Malkawi, president and CEO at Global Telecom. “So no matter where you are it will work in the home zone, it will work.”

Global Tel is working with distributors and channel partners as well as WISPs to offer its solutions to the general market. Some of them are bundling the CPE with their network services, as is the case with Global Telecom customer LocaLoop, out of Minnesota.

Going forward, Malkawi said that he believes the 3.65GHz band will be important for WISP market development. “For WISPs, costs have to go down for them to break even and be profitable, because customer acquisition is expensive; they don’t have the budgets of the Tier Ones for advertising and marketing,” he said. “The 3.65 GHZ have great potential—it’s semi-licensed, and has a lot of protection from the government, but at the same time it’s basically free. That, combined with lower-cost CPE like what we’re rolling out to thee market, has the potential for reviving and refreshing the band for WISPs.”

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