Florida-based wireless startup xG Technology announced that it recently completed a successful demonstration of mobile data transmissions on the company’s cognitive-radio solution that operates on unlicensed spectrum in the 900 MHz band.

During the demonstration in Fort Lauderdale, wireless data was transmitted to and from an xMax 2.0 base station to smartphones and laptops of rural telco executives as they were traveling at speeds of 30 mph or less, according to Scott Garlington, vice president of engineering for xG Technology. The tests validated the use of an OFDM wave type, MIMO antenna technology in the xMax system, and the xMOD solution as an effective gateway between commercial Wi-Fi devices and the xMax system, he said.

“It was a significant milestone for us,” Garlington said. “It was a good demo and actually exceeded our expectations for the first time out. This was done a couple of days after getting everything in a box, without a lot of tuning and testing on it.

“We certainly have a lot more work to do. This was kind of a baseline set of capabilities that we can build on. The next step is to get dynamic rate adaption in and higher data rates … which should triple our throughput and put us close to 1 MB/s per user. [The demonstration] really showed that the hardware is capable of doing it and that the software is capable, also.”

Previously, xMax had been demonstrated only as a mobile voice alternative to cellular networks. With the data capability, the solution is expected to be much more attractive to potential operator customers.

One such entity is Townes Tele-Communications, a rural telecom firm that recently completed xMax network trials in Lewisville, Ark., and other rural markets in MacClenny, Fla.

“Independent telecom operators need to have a cost-effective and high-performance wireless capability if they are to remain relevant to today’s consumers, who are demanding more mobile broadband connectivity and services in rural markets,” Townes CEO Larry Townes said in a prepared statement.

“I was impressed by xG’s progress, as well as the capabilities xG was able to deliver to my smartphone without using any of my cellular minutes or data allotment. My managers like that xMax will allow them to deliver new services to their customers’ existing mobile devices.”

The fact that the xMax system utilizes unlicensed spectrum — sparing an operator the cost of paying for expensive licensed spectrum — and is expected to be relatively affordable from a deployment standpoint is particularly important for rural telcos, which are trying to adapt to new FCC rules that could limit their revenue streams, said Ben Dickens, a spokesman for Townes.

“I think, as independent telephone companies have their remedies cut by the National Broadband Plan, a cost-effective broadband solution is going to be even more important to them than it would for competitive reasons,” Dickens said.

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