The future of wireless internet just happened, and it came out of nowhere.
A startup called Starry is soon offering wireless internet equipment that delivers super-fast wireless internet speeds up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) using a technology called millimeter wave band.
Gigabit internet is extremely fast. You can download a whole HD movie in 25 seconds when it would take you half an hour with your average 20 Mbps wired connection from your cable company. Some companies, like Google Fiber, already offer wired Gigabit internet, but this is the first time someone has offered it wirelessly.
But Gigabit internet is only available in a few places where the infrastructure has been upgraded, and it takes internet service providers (ISPs) like Time Warner Cable and Comcast a lot of time and money to upgrade the infrastructure for Gigabit internet. They have to physically install new cables into an area's infrastructure.
Starry fixes the problem by doing everything wirelessly.
How Starry works
Instead of sending you internet via cables, like almost every ISP does, Starry works more like your wireless phone carrier, like AT&T or T-Mobile.
1). Starry broadcasts internet wirelessly from nodes called "Starry Beam" that are installed around a populated area. The kind of signal the Starry Beam broadcasts is called "millimeter wave." Millimeter waves are concentrated radio waves.
2). Receivers called "Starry Point" installed outside your home receive the broadcast from the Starry Beam. They fit inside your window, kind of like an air conditioning unit.
3). The Starry Point receiver is connected via wire to either Starry's WiFi internet router, called "Starry Station," or your own regular WiFi router inside your home. It's the only wired part in the whole thing, except for the Station's power, of course.
- Starry Beam node broadcasts internet all over the city.
- Starry Point receivers in your window receive internet.
- Starry Points send internet to a Starry Station WiFi router or your own WiFi router.
- Starry Station or your WiFi router broadcasts WiFi internet to your wireless devices.
No cable installation to your individual home or area is required, which is a lot cheaper and can be implemented much more quickly than laying down cables.
You won't need to buy the Starry's $349 Station WiFi router, but you will need the Starry Point, which comes included with Starry's monthly service plan. Starry hasn't said how much the service will cost, but CEO Chet Kanojia said it will be cheaper than what you pay now for your internet. Not a bad deal because you'll be getting download speeds that are several times faster.
The Starry Station will go on preorder on February 5 and will begin shipping on March 6. Starry's service will start off in Boston in the summer, and will expand to other cities following launch.
By Antonio Villas-Boas for Tech Insider