back to article Aereo TV boss is back ... pitching gigabit internet and a $350 Wi-Fi router

The man who started the ill-fated Aereo TV service is back, and this time he wants to start an ISP. Chet Kanojia said that his Starry Internet service would allow home users to access gigabit internet service by installing wireless broadband antennas in their home routers. Promising to use short-wave radio frequencies to …

  1. Number6


    So if you're using wireless, unless you've got a really wide spectrum allocation or very directional antennas and a lot of radio kit, no one's going to actually get a gigabit. Ten users sharing an access point are going to average 100Mbit, a hundred users 10Mbit. I'm sure the mobile phone people have the lowdown on what sort of investment is needed to handle multiple wireless users in an area.

    1. DropBear

      Re: Shared?

      Then there's the tiny problem that "short wave" is usually defined as roughly 1.6-30MHz, which is the frequency of the carrier - so what are we looking at, about a few megabits per channel...? How is this supposed to serve everyone all at once...?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Shared?

        My first thought was: backhaul

        Watching the video, I wonder whether the idea is that the backhaul will be some form of metropolitan wireless mesh network, which in turn has capacity and performance limitations...

        1. Preston Munchensonton

          Re: Shared?

          My first thought was: backhaul

          Exactly. Given the frequency range that I've seen quoted (unlicensed 38Ghz), there's no question that they will have to build out a huge mesh of nodes to support the sort of subscriber base that they hope to reach.

          Will it work? That depends on your criteria for a good Internet connection.

          Will it ultimately make money? Not a chance in hell.

          1. JeffyPoooh

            Re: Shared?

            "38 Ghz"

            GHz; uppercase 'H'.

            It's the law.

      2. Jeff Wojciechowski

        Re: Shared?

        Not to mention the antenna size you need to use those frequencies.

      3. kkanalz

        Re: Shared?

        "DropBear" is correct that "short wave" is traditionally defined as 1.6-30.0 MHz. The hf radio spectrum will NOT support the kind of data rates that are touted in the article. Further, FCC rules in the USA (and in most other countries as well) prohibit such bandwidth-eating transmission methods. Further still, how will the digital stream(s) perform a Station Identification (also a requirement in the hf radio spectrum)?

  2. quattroprorocked

    Fail for the greater good

    The incumbants will not let him eat their lunch, but his presence might well allow them to suddenly offer higher speeds at lower prices - a lot of Yanks living in monopoly areas pay eyewatering amounts for quite slow Broadband.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Fail for the greater good

      "but his presence might well allow them to suddenly offer higher speeds at lower prices"

      That will only happen if he starts to show any sign of success. I suspect many will simply wait and see and let him burn money building infrastructure. Also by letting him to build infrastructure, they are effectively allowing a technology trial to go ahead without having to reach into their own pockets until such time as it looks like being viable...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Active phased array RF front ends MIMO coupled OFDM modulation

    "OFDM modulation coupled with MIMO as a foundation, along with active phased array RF front ends."

    Sounds like he did a google on digital transmission methods and then did a copy-and-paste into his business proposal.

  4. Sleep deprived

    "short-wave radio frequencies" ?

    This is confusing. Shortware radio is in the 1.6–30 MHz frequencies. Millimetre waves fall in the EHF (Extremely High Frequencies) category.

  5. Fatman

    OK Investors, we are looking for a payday!!!!

    On just how many levels does this scam fall apart?

    Let's see

    1) 38GHz bands (as mentioned by another commentard) really, really short range. IIRC, the proposed uses for 60 GHz took into consideration that their use was mainly line of sight, and suggested it was more of an indoor solution.

    2) IMHO, it is proposed as a last mile solution, which may not scale well, because resources are shared. You still need some form of backhaul to connect to the internet backbone.

    3) Because it uses short (millimeter) wavelengths, outdoors, it is subject to atmospheric effects. Those of you who have ever experienced "satellite fading" (also known as "rain fade") know what I refer to. This can only be expected to be worse than what is experienced in the lower frequency satellite bands.

    4) Because of the limited signal range, there will have to be a large number of masts, which will only encourage the NIMBY and RF-phobia crowds to attempt to block their construction.

    5) it is easily blocked by objects in the transmission path. Anyone who receives OTA digital tv signals (and, here my experience is tempered by my being a USAian), objects in the signal path (like airplanes) cause all kinds of interference resulting in pixellation. It is not a leap of faith to expect similar interference issues with data packet loss.

    IMHO, these guys are just looking for some more investors suckers to fund their lifestyles if they are proposing this as a last mile solution. As point to point backhaul, then we may be talking about a completely different situation.

    Icon that most closely resembles what they want to do to their """investors""".

    1. Jim Mitchell

      Re: OK Investors, we are looking for a payday!!!!

      Just where are you and the TV transmission tower located so that airplanes are a regular issue? For most of the country, this would mean that the airplane just crashed.

    2. JeffyPoooh

      Re: OK Investors, we are looking for a payday!!!!


      10/10. Full points. Best post. Essentially perfect.

  6. JeffyPoooh


    "... short-wave radio frequencies to deliver wireless broadband service..." and then "...using millimeter waves..."

    As others have already pointed out, "short-wave" has a long established meaning. And it's not millimeter waves, even if they're short. Pure ignorance on his part.

    If somebody wants to take a run at using millimeter waves to establish ISP 'last mile' links, then good luck to them. It might even work when it's not raining.

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