The company formerly known as pdvWireless has a new name — Anterix — but its focus on using 900 MHz spectrum to support private broadband LTE networks for the utilities industry remains the same.
Anterix officially began trading yesterday under a new Nasdaq ticker symbol: ATEX. The new name “underscores the heightened focus and new priorities that have been established by the company,” Anterix said in a release, defining its new name as referring to “architectural elements that provide strength and foundational support” and more reflective of its desire to “serve as a foundational force for industrial communications, leveraging the right combination of broadband spectrum and available network technologies and solutions.”
“Anterix aims to deliver the dedicated broadband so desperately needed to modernize our nation’s critical infrastructure. Enabling connectivity for the devices that can power and protect the crucial services we all rely on, we are poised and ready to transform the way utilities and enterprise operate through the use of broadband technology,” said Anterix CEO Morgan O’Brien in a statement.
The company recently submitted comments (under the name pdvWireless, at the time) to the Federal Communications Commission in support of a realignment of the 900 MHz band, of which Anterix is a major spectrum license holder. The FCC is exploring the possibility of re-shaping that band to support both narrowband and broadband operations; Anterix has been pursuing such a realignment of the band for years.
“A 900 MHz broadband option will respond to the urgency expressed by parties that require private broadband networks to address immediate, essential operational requirements,” the company told the FCC in its May 30th filing. “The path to secure, robust, reliable, resilient, private broadband networks that can support electric grid modernization, as well as advanced wireless connectivity for a variety of other essential industries, should begin with the realignment and modernization of the 900 MHz Band.”
Anterix is also part of a pilot project for the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab to explore the use of private LTE for electrical grid applications. The Department of Energy earlier this year classified the project as “high impact,” a status which is given to projects that “look to accelerate innovation in the private sector and develop scalable technologies” that are in line with DoE’s grid modernization efforts. NREL will use a private LTE broadband site using 900 MHz spectrum to test the performance of private LTE broadband networks for use in the utility sector, with an eye toward improving resilience in highly distributed energy resource networks.
Anterix is headed up by a number of former Nextel executives, including Nextel’s co-founders; it acquired Sprint’s former iDEN spectrum holdings in the 896-901/935-940 MHz band. Although there are other licensees in the band, pdvWireless says that it is the largest holder with a nationwide footprint of licenses in the spectrum, owning about 60% of the channels with a nationwide footprint and an average of 240 channels (out of 399) in most major metro markets.
Anterix President and COO Rob Schwarz said that now is “the perfect time for repositioning the company.
“There’s an urgent and increasing need for access to dedicated broadband spectrum on which to build private LTE wireless networks throughout the critical infrastructure industry. … We are revolutionizing our company brand to more clearly express our strategic vision of unlocking the extraordinary potential of 900 MHz spectrum to enhance and secure one of our nation’s most vital assets,” Schwarz said.
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