Internet Service Startup Starry Partners with Marvell to Lower Internet Costs

  • 8 January 2018
  • Jermaine Wright

CES 2018

Internet service startup Starry is looking to lower your internet cost.

It definitely will not be easy.

It requires an astounding amount of resources and time to expand and upgrade wireless networks and with 5G connectivity imminent, it will cost even more.

But the ambitious startup plans to make 5G affordable for all through a new partnership with leading fabless semiconductor company, Marvell Technology.

According to a statement released today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the two companies have entered a partnership to offer internet service providers (ISP) a reference design that combines Starry's wireless broadband technology with Marvell's expertise in next-generation Wi-Fi known as 802.11ax.

This will incorporate elements of Starry’s millimeter wave fixed wireless IP for pre-standard 5G connectivity, letting any operator across the globe manufacture their own Starry Point devices and sell/distribute their own 5G network.

Starry and Marvell licensing their reference designs will open up the wireless game to anyone to compete with big broadband companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon.

This development comes at an interesting time. With the recent ruling on repealing Net Neutrality rules, Starry’s decision to release reference designs for combining 5G and the latest Wi-Fi technologies should theoretically create a greater level of competition within the industry, resulting in more choices for broadband at lower prices, ultimately putting more power in the hands of consumers.

If the partnership is fruitful it could cause major disruption in the internet service space in many countries including the US, where many Americans only have one or two choices for broadband service.

In some rural areas of the US and other parts of the world, the technology could mean the first high-speed broadband deployments.

CEO and co-founder of Starry Chet Kanojia called the partnership a “win-win” for broadband competitors and consumers.

“Our initial goal with Starry was to drive down the cost of deploying broadband. Cost is the barrier to entry in the market today, whether domestic or global. That's why you see so few people willing to challenge incumbent monopolies,” he said in a statement.

This isn’t Kanojia’s first project.

A few years ago, before the recent explosion of internet-based TV bundles, Kanojia took on some of the biggest media companies in the U.S. with his streaming TV startup Aereo. The startup became a tech phenom by streaming broadcast channels over the internet for a small monthly fee.

The broadcast networks sued Aereo and the Supreme Court ruled in their favor which ultimately sent the disruptive startup into bankruptcy.

This time, Kanojia is targeting ISPs to disrupt the internet service industry and should expect another round of pushback. Besides, you don't threaten entire industries without making some enemies or spending time in court.

Starry Internet launched two years ago at CES with a brand new way to deliver internet to urban areas with its Starry Wi-Fi router. The new technology uses millimeter waves to create wireless connections delivering gigabit-speed internet connections.

The company currently delivers low-cost broadband service in Boston and plans to expand the service to other cities like Washington and Los Angeles.

The Boston headquartered startup has raised more than $63 million in funding.

About Jermaine Wright