Competitive Companies, the developer of high-performance Wi-Fi equipment, is an unfamiliar name in the telecom industry. But I would expect that to change moving forward, as the company is doing some interesting things on the municipal network and smart city front that also could be of interest to carriers seeking to offload traffic from congested cellular data networks.
Last week Competitive Companies put out a release offering an update on its activities in Columbus, Ohio that didn’t get much attention. But as an email exchange with Telecompetitor today revealed, last week’s release just scratches the surface on what the company hopes to achieve long term.
Competitive Companies has proprietary Wi-Fi technology which, according to the company, has now achieved download speeds of more than 150 Mbps to a mobile device – more than 15 times what is currently available. The company also claims to be able to support 16 simultaneous users per hotspot in comparison with six to nine for traditional hotspots.
Competitive Companies’ business model is to work with municipalities to offer high-speed Wi-Fi networks, which the company also plans to use to provide mobile offload capability to mobile operators.
The company now has completed phase 2 of its smart city pilot program in Columbus. As Competitive Companies President and CEO William H. Gray explained in an email to Telecompetitor, one element of phase 2 involved security cameras in Columbus’s central business district (CBD).
Typical municipal security camera networks are built on single purpose networks supplying only enough throughput to support the cameras, Gray said. But, he said, “We are building a robust dual gigabit network to support both the security camera and Wi-Fi for both paying and non-paying customers at exceptionally high speeds.”
The phase 2 pilot program included the configuration of more than 50 network access points, as well as the deployment of millimeter wave backhaul. According to Gray, the millimeter wave technology can cover distances up to one and a half miles at maximum utilization.
“We design our millimeter wave backhaul in multiple rings with at least two fiber optic injection points to provide a minimum of five nines of [quality of service],” said Gray. “Because of our unique redundancy design, we believe we can reach the coveted six nines of QoS.”
Gray added that the company has been communicating with two major carriers and one relatively large cable operator about offload services. As Telecompetitor has previously reported, Competitive Companies aims to give wireless carriers the ability to continue to track customers when customers shift to WiFi.
Gray doesn’t expect carriers to get serious about working with Competitive Companies until the CBD build is completed. He, added, though that, “We are confident [that] curiosity will go beyond tire-kicking once [carriers] have thoroughly tested our network.”
Competitive Companies’ ambitions are not limited to Columbus.
“We are currently working with 10 other major cities at various levels of commitments similar to that of Columbus,” said Gray. He noted that the company works closely with “a bi-partisan private-public partnership firm that bring us in at the mayoral level” and that the company expects to be in high-level discussions with at least 15 tier one, two and three cities by the end of the year related to deals similar to the one in Columbus.