By Jill Nolin

LAS VEGAS—Colorado-based FreeWave Technologies seeks to address customers’ increasing data demands with today’s launch of WavePoint, a wireless machine-to-machine communications platform that can utilize spectrum on three unlicensed bands, as well as a cellular connection.

WavePoint can simultaneously handle up to four wireless OFDM broadband modules per unit and uses the 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz ISM and U-NII bands, with options for 3G and Wi-Fi operations, according to Ashish Sharma, chief marketing officer for FreeWave. The solution is specifically designed to extend broadband connectivity to remote locations while integrating existing network infrastructure.

The box weighs in at 4.25 pounds, with dimensions of 9.5 inches x 2 inches x 6.5 inches, and delivers up to 200 Mbps with low-link latency.

 “The biggest thing this solution provides is, in a very small form factor, it provides our customers the capabilities of running four different frequencies,” Sharma told IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Instead of putting four different boxes and equipment and having separate software, we provide a combined, integrated solution within a unified software where they can run a 900 MHz wireless module with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz [on unlicensed spectrum], as well as the capability to do a cell module within the same box.”

In addition to reducing the amount of infrastructure needed, WavePoint provides the opportunity to “use multiple, different frequencies for different applications in a fully integrated manner,” Sharma said. It also incorporates network functions, like point-to-point and point-to-multipoint elements, cellular backhaul and Wi-Fi access.

WavePoint’s launch represents a new direction for FreeWave, which has focused on developing narrowband long-range communications during the last two decades. The company is moving toward wireless broadband because of its customers’ need for greater data transmission, Sharma said.

Specifically, WavePoint provides the data throughputs needed to support bandwidth-intensive applications such as video, whether loaded onto unmanned aerial vehicles, used to monitor remote assets or other purposes, Sharma said.

The platform’s reliance on unlicensed spectrum might trigger concerns for some, but Sharma said WavePoint has been tested in a high-noise environment in Boulder. He also noted that entities without many licensed-spectrum options, such as utility companies, are typically located in the less-dense areas, where there is generally less interference on unlicensed frequencies. If there is a problem in one band, the user can switch over to a different band, he added.