Regional broadband provider Shentel announced the launch of Beam Internet, a new fixed wireless service to be offered in parts of Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio.
Beam internet will use both existing 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum and CBRS spectrum. The company announced it won a total of 262 Priority Access Licenses (PALs) in 74 counties at the FCC’s recent CBRS mid-band spectrum auction.
Beam Internet will offer three speed tiers between 25/3 Mbps and 100/10 Mbps. Pricing will start at $60 per month for 25/3 Mbps service. The service needs an outdoor antenna installed and will come with up to 2 in-home Wi-Fi extenders.
“We are very proud to win 262 licenses in the CBRS auction,” said Dave Heimbach, EVP & COO of Shentel in a press release. “This investment in mid-band spectrum, which is particularly well-suited to fixed wireless broadband deployments in rural areas, will ensure we are able to continue bringing critical broadband access to the communities we serve.”
No stranger to wireless operations, Shentel has been a mobile wireless operator for years. The company was a Sprint affiliate, but since taking over Sprint, T-Mobile is aiming to force Shentel to sell its mobile wireless operation to T-Mobile.
Shentel labels Beam Internet as a 5G-ready fixed wireless service. The company invested $16 million for the CBRS spectrum and won an average of 3.54 out of 7 of the PALs in 74 counties across Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Efforts like Beam Internet are expected to rise. The CBRS spectrum auction has heightened the appeal of fixed wireless. That together with additional unlicensed spectrum options coming from the FCC is creating an abundance of optimism with fixed wireless in general.