3. Redzone Wireless

Redzone beams its services to a receiver installed on the outside of customers' homes. (Redzone)

Redzone Wireless is distinctive in that it launched what is likely the first 5G-branded wireless service in the United States. In January the company flipped the switch on its “5Gx” fixed wireless network in 10 rural and suburban markets across its home state of Maine, using both licensed LTE and unlicensed spectrum bands on a single tower and integrating them on a proprietary operational support system (OSS) platform, to offer test speeds of up to 450 Mbps running in the 5.1 GHz to 5.8 GHz range.

(It’s worth noting that AT&T quickly followed Redzone with its own “5G Evolution” branding.)

Perhaps more importantly, Redzone followed up its January launch with an announcement in May that it plans to expand its 5Gx service to a total of 225,000 households in Maine by the end of this year, as well as to unspecified locations outside of the state.

“Redzone has identified a significant market opportunity to partner with both regional and national technology and telecommunications companies to build on our fixed wireless expertise, spectrum portfolio and network assets to extend our broadband delivery services further in Maine and across the country,” Jim McKenna, Redzone’s president, said in a release. “We are actively exploring a number of possible strategic partnership models to support our expansion plans.”

The upshot: Although Redzone is one of a number of fixed wireless internet providers, the company boasted that its ability to integrate licensed and unlicensed technologies onto a common OSS platform gives it “operational efficiencies through spectrum aggregation, including the capability to migrate customers seamlessly between the wireless platforms.” That, combined with its embrace of the 5G label and its network expansion plans, makes Redzone an ISP to watch.

3. Redzone Wireless