The broadband wireless deployment that Agile Networks has undertaken throughout Ohio has been so successful that the company is considering expanding to other states, said Agile Networks CTO Kyle Quillen in an interview today.
As Telecompetitor reported back in 2012, Agile Networks has a rather unique business model that is anchored by public safety. By providing connectivity for public safety, the company has been able to make a business case for deploying broadband wireless to customers in rural areas.
“Our biggest news is that we are now in 75 of 88 counties in Ohio,” said Quillen. “We have 160 to 170 sites active and on the air.” Each of those sites supports public safety, he said.
Agile announced today that it used broadband wireless equipment from Radwin for a large part of its network. That company replaced Agile’s previous supplier because its equipment had “built-in functionality for being able to change [spectrum] bands in a single chassis, rather than having to replace equipment,” Quillen said.
He added, though, that equipment installed from Agile’s previous supplier is working fine.
Agile relies on a combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum, Quillen explained. “Our core backbone is licensed,” he said.
Agile uses wireless not only for last mile connectivity but also for a transport network that provides route diversity. Fiber interconnects the transport networks.
In addition to data connectivity, Agile provides voice service, video surveillance and security services and other services. Pricing is comparable to what customers would pay for similar connectivity relying on landline infrastructure, Quillen said.
“We believe we have a compelling model and story,” said Quillen. “We figured out the pieces and parts that [we] need to have to successfully deploy this type of network.”
Accordingly, he said, “We think there is a great possibility of expanding into other geographic areas.”
Agile has some residential customers, but Quillen said the company has not yet emphasized that area.
“We spent all of 2013 focused on getting our backbone deployed and getting the system as hardened as possible because of our anchor tenants being public safety,” he said. He expects a greater focus on residential services later this year and next year.
The company currently offers data rates up to 10 Mbps on the residential side and as high as 100 Mbps on the business side.
The rise of fracking in eastern Ohio has been a boon for Agile, Quillen said. As oil and gas companies move in, Agile has been selling data, phone, surveillance and security services to them, as well as control station connectivity.
Other business customers that have signed on with Agile include companies that wanted to save costs by moving to VoIP or that wanted a single provider throughout Ohio.