Maryland county partners with ISP, millimeter-wave company to launch millimeter-wave service for enterprises

Montgomery County, Md., is launching the "UltraGig," a broadband initiative that will use FiberTower's millimeter-wave spectrum licenses in the 24 GHz and 39 GHz range and Atlantech Online's broadband services to provide connectivity for the Silver Spring Innovation Center.

The UltraGig initiative is a public-private partnership that combines the county government, FiberTech and Atlantech Online with a goal of providing redundant connectivity to all businesses in the Silver Spring Innovation Center. UltraGig is one component of UltraMontgomery, which county officials describe as the county's plan to promote the installation of fiber infrastructure to business, academic and federal institutions in the county's major economic corridors.

Wireless operators have been monitoring high-frequency millimeter-wave bands and are hoping to use the spectrum to provide backhaul services for LTE and possibly to deliver 5G services in the future.

FiberTower purchased millimeter-wave spectrum licenses from Teligent, which filed for bankruptcy in 2002. But the company has had difficulty monetizing those licenses and filed for bankruptcy in 2012. However, many companies are bullish about the potential for millimeter wave spectrum. Like FiberTower, Straight Path, a spectrum holding company that owns bankrupt fixed wireless provider Winstar Communications' spectrum licenses in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands, is counting on the growing momentum for millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum for 5G services as a boon for the company.

For more:
- see this release from the government of Montgomery County, Md.

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