Why is GigaBeam-ing?


Fixed wireless company, GigaBeam’s executive team got a big raise recently. I have briefly mentioned these guys in the past.

Just to recap, GigaBeam’s WiFiber is a point-to-point wireless system that uses very high frequency radio waves at 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz to transmit at a gigabit per second. Since they trade on the OTC’s Bulletin Board, and there are no financials to speak off, I am a tad skeptical, especially since this old SEC filing paints a rather bleak picture. (They seem to have raised more cash since then, though most of the brand names are missing from the list of backers.)

Yet, they seem to be winning customers. Recently, the company received an order for 20 of its WiFiber wireless fiber links from Empire Telecom Solutions, which intends to market the links to municipal and commercial institutions in the New York City area. While we are in New York, GigaBeam’s WiFiber links the Trump International Hotel with Trump residential buildings on the West Side.

Here is a list of deals they have announced recently.

  1. The city of Manteca in Central California.
  2. Grant Union High School district in Sacramento.
  3. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which is using GigaBeam’s wireless fiber to monitor pumping stations with live video, as well as VoIP and data.
  4. Memphis Networx.
  5. CompuCredit in Atlanta.
  6. Indiana Fiber Works.
  7. Dartmouth, BU, the University of Maryland and Oklahoma State University.

I have not clue if these networks are working, and how the networks are performing.


Jesse Kopelman

This technology is not new at all. The basic technology is known as milimeter wave wireless and has been in common use for about five years. The only thing different about Gigabeam is that they are using a specific milimeter wave band that has better oxygen absorption characteristics than most and as such can give you a significant range improvement. This is a great technology if you want short links (< 1 mile) and have no pre-existing conduit to lay fiber. In some environments FSO (lasers) is better, in others milimeter wave.


Given the very long and complicated purchasing cycles of these kinds of customers I’d be very suspicious of these claims. It is very difficult to get education and government buyers to try new technologies…they are never early adopters.

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