Starry says spectrum wins widen reach to 40M US households

With a batch of 24GHz spectrum in hand, Starry is ready to embark on expansion plans in the US while hinting that its spectrum-agnostic approach has global potential.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

June 18, 2019

4 Min Read
Starry says spectrum wins widen reach to 40M US households

After coming away with 104 licenses for 24GHz spectrum in parts of 25 states, Starry says it's now gearing up to put that capacity to work.

Starry, a provider of speedy, fixed wireless broadband services, said the 104 licenses won following the FCC's Auction 102, combined with its current deployment roadmap, put the company in position to span more than 40 million households, or north of 25% of all US households.

Starry said the addition of 24GHz capacity enables it to complement its initial use of shared spectrum with exclusive licensed spectrum.

"We built our technology to be agile and operate across a range of frequencies, so that we could take advantage of opportunities like this to expand and grow our network," Starry CEO Chet Kanojia said in a release.

While the new spectrum enables Starry to start the next phase of its plan for the US, Kanojia hinted that the company's spectrum-agnostic approach also offers international potential.

Its platform uses a proprietary, phased array antenna system with MU-MIMO under a point-to-multipoint design. Starry claims its architecture, which can reach a community with dozens of basestation sites, can deliver broadband service at less than $20 per home passed.

Prior to Auction 102, Starry had launched services in a handful of markets -- Boston; Los Angeles; Washington, DC; New York City and Denver. Its uncapped, symmetrical 200Mbit/s service starts at $50 per month.

Starry, which has initially focused on apartment buildings and the broader multiple-dwelling unit market, hasn't announced customer numbers or connected buildings yet. However, the company has said it can usually get 20% of the residents in a building to take its service within 60 to 90 days of launch. Starry has also said the service tends to attract cord-cutters, with the average sub using about 350 gigabytes of data per month.

Starry is generally viewed as tangential consumer broadband competition to cable operators and other wired ISPs.

Having raised more than $250 million, Starry has plans to expand service to Chicago; San Francisco; Houston; Dallas; Seattle; Detroit; Atlanta; Indianapolis; Philadelphia; Miami; Memphis; Phoenix; Minneapolis; Manchester, N.H.; Portland, Ore; and Sioux Falls, S.D.

Starry said the licenses won via Auction 102 cover partial economic areas in more than half the US, including the following areas:

State

Cities

Alabama

Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile

Arizona

Tucson

Arkansas

Little Rock

Colorado

Colorado Springs and Fort Collins

Florida

Jacksonville and Tallahassee

Idaho

Boise City

Illinois

Decatur

Indiana

South Bend, Fort Wayne and Bloomington

Kansas

Wichita

Kentucky

Louisville

Ohio

Cleveland, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Dayton and Columbus

Massachusetts

Springfield

Mississippi

Jackson

Nevada

Las Vegas and Reno

New Mexico

Albuquerque

New York

Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse and Rochester

North Carolina

Fayetteville, Greensboro, Charlotte and Raleigh

Louisiana

Baton Rouge and New Orleans

Pennsylvania

Harrisburg

South Carolina

Charleston

Tennessee

Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis

Texas

San Antonio, Brownsville, Lubbock and El Paso

Virginia

Virginia Beach

Washington

Spokane

Wisconsin

Milwaukee and Madison

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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