Resound Networks said today that it achieved gigabit download speeds and 500 Mbps upload speeds over distances of seven miles using fixed wireless equipment in licensed and unlicensed spectrum bands.
Resound was one of the largest winning bidders in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction, which awarded funding to cover some of the costs of deploying broadband to unserved rural areas. But the FCC has not yet authorized the company’s funding. Opponents have expressed concern about the ability of fixed wireless technology to consistently achieve gigabit speeds in rural areas, especially at scale on live networks.
In the latest testing, Resound used fixed wireless equipment from Globtel that, according to a press release, supports up to 10 Gbps for each 90-degree sector and can served hundreds of subscribers from each 360-degree base station.
“The performance of the technology in the field was extraordinary and exceeded our expectations,” Resound CEO Tyson Curtis said in a press release. “Globtel’s AIR Gigaray will help us in our commitment to expand our gigabit network throughout rural America and will easily fulfill our RDOF obligations as we plan to use Globtel`s technology in our RDOF build-out.”
Resound Networks was the eighth biggest winner in the RDOF auction, which tentatively awarded funding for an area to the company that committed to deploying service for the lowest level of support. The company is slated to receive $311 million if it can persuade the FCC that it can meet performance requirements using gigabit fixed wireless.
Earlier this month, the company said that it had achieved gigabit speeds using fixed wireless equipment in the 6 GHz band with an experimental license. The signal was sent more than three miles using the 160 MHz–wide channels that will become available in the band.
Resound, which was founded in 2015, is headquartered in Pampa, TX. It serves more than 400,000 homes in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Another big RDOF winner that plans to use gigabit fixed wireless but has not yet had its funding released is Nextlink Internet. Nextlink also had been touting the technology’s ability to support RDOF performance requirements. The company said recently that it used a single 160 MHz channel in the 6 GHz band to achieve downstream speeds of 1 Gbps and 500 Mbps upstream over a distance of two miles.
Nextlink, which bid as AMG Technology, tentatively won $429 million in the auction, making it the sixth largest winning bidder.
Joan Engebretson contributed to this report