After trying to revolutionize TV but falling short with Aereo, Chet Kanojia will attempt do the same with broadband with Starry, a wireless high-speed Internet service startup that will rely on millimeter wave technology.
Starry, emerging from Kanojia and his Project Decibel team, said its aim is to “re-imagine” broadband access using a lineup of products that rely on millimeter wave band active phased array technology for what will become a national fixed wireless platform.
Starry said its platform, which will be capable of delivering speeds up to 1 Gbps to the home wirelessly, will feature a self-installation system and will not be saddled with data usage caps. The company also introduced the Starry Station, a WiFi-capable hub that features a 3.8-inch touchscreen.
The Starry Station will support 802.11ac, have a built-in “persistent auto-speed test,” along with a dual radio that is 802.15-ready for “future IoT features.” The device carries a retail price of $349.99 and will be available on reserve at Starry.com until February 5 and for pre-orders via the start-up focused Amazon Launchpad. (Amazon’s innovative program for startups). Shipments will start in March 2016.
Starry said its platform use OFDM modulation (a technique that will also grace cable’s new multi-gigabit DOCSIS 3.1 platform) coupled with MIMO as its foundation, with active phased array RF front ends. That mix will enable a dense platform that can be used across multiple licensed spectrum bands, including ultra high frequency millimeter waves, service to a home-side receiver.”
The Starry Internet service will launch in beta form in Boston this summer, with more cities to be announced throughout 2016, the company said. Starry has not announced service pricing, but claimed that deployment costs are “a fraction” of what it costs to roll out wired broadband.
“The future of connectivity is wireless and having simple, affordable access to an internet connection is imperative for every household and business,” Kanojia said, ina statement. “But, far too many people don’t have a choice in how they access that connection. We set out to build an innovative alternative to wired broadband using millimeter waves and proprietary technology to deliver ultra high speed broadband to your home, wirelessly.”
Starr said it’s backed by engineers that helped to create Aereo, and has secured handful of investors -- FirstMark Capital, Tiger Global, IAC, KKR, HLVP and Quantum Strategic Partners.
Here's a video released by Starry that promotes its business angle and discusses the technology it will tap to deliver wireless broadband: