Anterix close to attracting new firms for 900 MHz licenses: CEO
In 2020, the FCC approved usage of the 900 MHz band in the U.S. for private LTE and 5G networking by energy companies, in response to a long-standing request by Anterix
Private networking firm Anterix, which holds wide swathes of 900 MHz spectrum in the U.S., is close to leasing its 900 MHz spectrum licenses to four potential customers, Anterix CEO Rob Schwartz said during a recent conference call with investors.
Schwartz did not provide the name of the potential customers, but he noted that these four companies included “a large multistate, multi-operating company utility,” “a large multistate utility,” a “multistate IOU [investor-owned utility] with several operating companies” and “the operating company level of a large multistate holding company.”
The executive also said that Anterix currently has more than 60 prospective companies at various points in its sales pipeline.
“We fully recognize that continuing to close individual deals is a near-term imperative. Our goal is to capture the sector. While accomplishing this goal will take time, I remain confident that we’re uniquely built to succeed in this effort,” Schwartz said.
“Anterix is purposely positioned to help solve growing critical and complex challenges for utilities, including grid monetization, renewable energy integration and new environmental reality, including wildfires and massive storms, expanding cyber and physical security risks and a growing focus on energy equity and more. These realities provide strong tailwind of support for the necessity of private broadband networks,” the executive added.
Schwartz also highlighted that Anterix is seeing interest for its private networks from companies in other vertical markets apart from utilities.
“While we continue to stay focused on the utility sector (…) we’re receiving interest from a range of organizations in other sectors. This inbound interest is reflective of the private broadband network demand we’re seeing across critical infrastructure verticals, including pipelines, gas companies, freight rail operators and government installations,” Schwartz said.
“We believe the majority of these entities and the use cases they’re pursuing could fit well within the utility private broadband deployment supported by our nationwide network of networks platform strategy,” he added.
In May of 2020, the FCC approved usage of the 900 MHz band in the U.S. for private LTE and 5G networking by energy companies, in response to a long-standing request by Anterix to open the 900 MHz band for private cellular. In January of 2021, U.S. electricity and gas utility Ameren Corporation announced in January it will deploy a private LTE network in the 900 MHz band for customers in Missouri and Illinois, under the first licence granted in the spectrum band by Anterix.