Cognitive-radio provider xG Technology recently announced more than $14 million in orders from rural telecommunications carriers and wireless dealers in anticipation of delivering operational systems in the second quarter that provide carrier-grade wireless broadband connectivity while operating on unlicensed spectrum.

This total includes orders from three wireless solutions providers — PMC Associates of Hazlet, N.J., Communications Marketing Southeast of Dallas, Ga., and Mobile-One Communications of Venice, Fla. — that have committed to purchasing a combined total of $6 million in xG Technology gear when it is scheduled to be available during the second quarter of this year. All three companies have a background in the LMR industry, serving public-safety entities and enterprises such as utilities.

"As soon as I saw [xG Technology's] capabilities internally — the technology, the lack of competition for this technology and just seeing the horsepower behind the group — I immediately got excited," Jason Bentley, general manager of Communications Marketing Southeast, said during an interview.

"I'm a lot younger than the founder of our company, my dad. He has a radio background, and all of our products today are still two-way-radio oriented. As more technologies come to the table with two-way radio these days, I'm just glad I'm not a user, because it's very confusing out there, in terms of what technology is going to work best.

"I feel that xG's ultimate long-term plan could very easily replace a lot of those technologies. And I hope I'm with them long enough to see it."

Cognitive radio allows network operators to leverage unused portions of spectrum, and the xG Technology system is designed to support a switch between frequencies within milliseconds. In addition, the company has developed interference-mitigation techniques that will be integrated into the equipment that is scheduled to be released in the second quarter, according to xG Technology spokesman Rick Rotondo.

With the FCC placing an emphasis on spectrum-utilization strategies such as spectrum sharing, the cognitive capabilities of xG Technology's xMax system are especially attractive, according to PMC Wireless President Phil Casciano.

"We serve some of the largest public-safety entities in our region, and they demand that we have cutting-edge technology for them," Casciano said during an interview. "So, any time we get an opportunity to present something like xG, we feel like we're doing a good service for our customer base.

"We feel that cognitive radio is the future, and we want to be part of it. I feel like we could not have picked a better partner than xG."

Mobile-One President Mike Loncar echoed this sentiment.

"We're hoping to use that [xG] technology to mitigate interference, to have something that's completely deployable without any complications," Loncar said during an interview. "The technology can actually work around any interference — it identifies it and reallocates its spectrum. We're excited; it sounds like it's going to be a great product."

In addition to the deal with these three wireless solutions providers, xG Technology said that it received just over $4 million in purchase orders from rural telecommunications carriers. The company also received a $1 million purchase order from Ft. Worth-based Assist Wireless, which plans to deploy an xMax system in Tahlequah, Okla.

More deals are expected in the future, according to Rich Schubiger, vice president of sales for xG Technology.

"We have a pipeline that's north of $100 million right now," Schubiger said during an interview. "We've identified the opportunity. We've identified that we do have a solution that fits the needs of the customer, and we've identified a funding solution. Between short and long term, that number is north of $100 million.

"Short term, it's heavily weighted with public-safety and rural-broadband opportunities. From the enterprise side, there's education, healthcare and utilities."