Feature Article

September 08, 2014

Runcom Helps Wireless ISPs Reach Underserved Rural Customers from the White Spaces

While wireless ISPs today spend a lot of their time serving existing customers to the best of their ability, it’s always important to remember that traditionally, there have been many Americans that they simply can’t reach at all due to technology limitations, or because reaching them with older technology would have not been cost-effective.

At the recent ITEXPO event held in August in Las Vegas, TMC’s Erik Linask took a moment to speak with Israel Koffman, CEO of Runcom Technologies. The company, which is based in Rishon Lezion, Israel, develops 4G wireless communications networking equipment. The company was a pioneer in the development of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology, a breakthrough in enabling the proliferation of broadband wireless access communications.

“We introduce solutions for wireless ISPs and for broadband wireless access,” said Koffman. “We provide them with a way to connect their customers with 4G technology type of equipment. Our products include base stations, terminals and gateways that give them a full solution for their needs.”

Runcom sees the majority of its customers in rural parts of the U.S., where wired broadband access is difficult, if not impossible. ISPs are continually challenged in trying to offer service to these customers.

“One of the big challenges now is to try to get those customers to are hard to reach [from a broadband perspective], who are behind trees and hills,” noted Koffman. “We came to this show with a new, innovative product which is a broadband wireless access on the white space. So, the combination of 4G equipment with white space frequencies, which is unlicensed bandwidth or semi-licensed bandwidth, gives them a solution to this problem. We believe that this product can give [these hard to reach customers] 20 to 30 percent more coverage so they can acquire more customers, especially those that are underserved.”

Because Runcom’s terminal solutions are low-cost, wireless ISPs are able to reach formerly underservced customers without breaking the bank.

“[Providers] don’t have to invest a payment of three years to get back the terminal. It’s a low-cost terminal, it’s available, and it’s reachable to every one of these customers,” said Koffman.

Runcom also has a strong footprint in the public safety vertical market for applications such as smart grids and for machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies. Koffman noted that the smart grid market has similar challenge to wireless ISPs in that there are often customers who are hard to reach.

“They don’t need so much the broadband, but they need connectivity to long ranges, so this product that we announced at this show is also a good solution for smart grids or public safety or every type of vertical application,” he concluded. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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