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Product Spotlight: SkyPath broadband wireless system

Jul 16, 2001  •  Post A Comment

What it is: In mid-June, Andrew Corp. introduced an updated, lower-cost version of its SkyPath system designed to be an entree to wireless high-speed Internet access. The package, said Jim Yard, vice president, broadband wireless systems, starts at under $200,000 and includes the RF equipment, transmitters, receivers, cable antennas, modem termination systems, Ethernet switches and routers and customer premise equipment necessary to deploy an end-to-end wireless high-speed system. Andrew provides antennas and transmission lines to broadcasters and carriers, including Sprint, AT&T and Motorola.
Features and benefits: The system is capable of supporting 1,000 subscribers and can be expanded and upgraded as the service grows. SkyPath is marketed as an “entry-level, turnkey” system to help providers enter the high-speed market quickly and economically, Mr. Yard said. It operates at about 1 Mbps downstream and 256 Kbps upstream.
Target market: The system is positioned to appeal to telecom carriers, wireless ISPs and wireless cable operators who wish to offer wireless data services. With such a system, wireless video providers can offer high-speed Internet access to compete with their wired counterparts who provide the service. Within the last year, the Federal Communications Commission began granting licenses for this kind of service, he said.
Customers: The first two customers for the new SkyPath system are W.A.T.C.H. TV and high-speed provider CommSpeed. W.A.T.C.H. TV is a wireless cable provider in western Ohio serving more than 10,000 customers. Andrew will begin system installation there in August.