In 2018, Starry began aggressive promotion of its 5G service for building-top antennas that distribute the signal over the residential buildings existing wired network in areas of Boston and reaching out to other major US metropolitan areas. Starry’s network approach allows far fewer 37 GHz base stations to distribute internet via the AESA antennas on the buildings from the base stations. The earlier proposed Starry end user window units have not yet been publicly shown.
While Starry is anticipated to have the benefits of far lower infrastructure cost than the big four wireless carriers (Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint), the big four have the advantage of oceans of capital, lease leverage via long relationships with municipalities and site managers. Starry clearly has a first-mover advantage, but scaleup is threatened in some aspects by the big four. One best outcome for Starry is to be another option for urban fixed wireless internet in apartment buildings and business complexes. Major carriers like Sprint have shown they can withstand the wounds from technologies that ultimately were supplanted, such as Sprint with WiMax or the costly, lengthy transition of LTE Band 26 from 25 kHz CMRS channel legacy two-way dispatch to LTE.
5G Maps are not yet showing carrier network equipment deployments we are aware of in Boston and elsewhere.