Recent Gigabeam installations include Trump Organization, which wanted to give its New York City properties access to an Internet platform for voice, video, data, wireless services, and even high-definition television at a high rate of speed.
"(WiFiber) was a technology that enabled up-fiber connections without crossing public right of ways, or dealing with any of the major carriers," said Frank Matarazzo, president of MST Visions, a subsidiary of Telkonet Inc. (TKO). MST arranged the Trump installation.
MST Visions is a service provider using Gigabeam's transmitters to build a high-speed wireless network throughout New York City. It currently has six Gigabeam devices deployed with another 11 in the pipeline, Matarazzo said.
So far, Gigabeam's biggest customers have been the military, cities and municipalities, corporations, financial and health-care services, and universities. It doesn't have any plans to promote the technology for home use.
Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., installed Gigabeam's WiFiber about 18 months ago at its Hitchcock Medical Center and two other buildings. The WiFiber installation replaced a deal with Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) for leased T-1 lines, reducing the academic institution's costs over time, Dartmouth Director of Network Services Frank Archambeault said.
Archambeault said Gigabeam's system was the only one that could deliver the higher speeds Dartmouth academics and researchers desired, and has so far been "very reliable."
"Heavy rain storms cause some problems...and some fog...but the system recovers nicely," he said. "There was some problem (this past winter) with icing and freezing, but Gigabeam replaced the equipment and the new models have built-in heaters."
There have been surprises. This August, Gigabeam withdrew its full-year revenue guidance of $25 million following cancellation of a supplier deal in the Middle East, while domestic sales growth has been slower than anticipated.
Following the August news, Gigabeam shares plunged 36% over the next week, to $5.75 from $9.05.
Nonetheless, overseas markets, particularly developing markets, could eventually become the biggest users of WiFiber as it is cheaper to set up than a traditional telecommunications infrastructure.
Competition for Gigabeam's WiFiber appears thin, though being first to the market in no way guarantees success.
Endwave Corp. has formed a partnership with Hawaii's Loea Corp. and the two are marketing their own millimeter-wave device in the 71 Ghz to 76 Ghz and 81 Ghz to 86 Ghz ranges. Additionally, privately-held Bridgewave Communications and Stratex Networks Inc. (STXN) offer commercial millimeter-wave devices, but at a slower 60 Ghz transmission.
Lumera Corp. (LMRA), meanwhile, recently announced successful beta tests of a millimeter-wave device that transmits in the 94 Ghz to 140 Ghz range, but the product is at least 18 months from market.
Stock analysts either haven't heard of the millimeter-wireless technology, or think it is too new a market to gauge whether it will succeed as an alternative high-speed connection.
Larry Lang, Cisco Systems Inc.'s (CSCO) vice president of mobile communications, said he expects the technology to take off as costs to make the equipment fall and volume picks up.
"It's an attractive ingredient in the equipment portfolio, and we have a strategic interest in encouraging regulators to help people utilize this technology," he said.
-By Christopher Hinton, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5285; firstname.lastname@example.org [ 11-06-06 1400ET ]
Thanks for posting the Dow Jones article. The comments on the Dartmouth installation were very candid and telling. Obviously GGBM nor anyone else has not completely solved the last mile solution, and competition from new players looms. Chambers from Cisco is well aware of GGBM's technology and others. As I have said before if GGBM had the "best" solution out there don't you think they would be acquired now, for minimal dollars. I am not saying there is upside potential in the stock, but it appears it is limited.
Thanks for the update...its always good to get the feedback as to how the technology is performing after a decent time period.Some good things,some bad things and some indifferent things seem to highlight the tone of this article.We remain a speculation play and we longs will need to hold our breath for awhile.