CAMDEN, Maine — Redzone Wireless, LLC announced Thursday it has significantly expanded its wireless broadband network with the activation of coverage in Westbrook, Camden, Rockland and the Augusta-Manchester area.
The company said the 4G LTE advanced broadband service, privately funded by Redzone, is in full commercial operation. The announcement follows Redzone’s initial network launch in June, which provided high-speed Internet service to Portland, Waterville and Casco Bay Islands.
Redzone stated in a news release Thursday that it has more than doubled the number of communities served by its broadband network.
“The incredibly rapid expansion of our network and service area demonstrates the viability of 4G LTE as a solution to Maine’s broadband challenge,” Jim McKenna, Redzone Wireless LLC president, said in the news release.
The company is building its network on top of existing cell tower and fiber-optic cable infrastructure and uses a specific range of the wireless spectrum the Federal Communications Commission set aside for educational institutions, which Redzone accessed through a 30-year lease agreement with the University of Maine System.
In June, McKenna explained there are 600 cell towers in the state connected to fiber-optic cables. Setting up new sites involves connecting the firm’s radio heads to that fiber-optic cable and using 4G LTE, or long-term evolution, radio technology similar to what phone companies use to send data to smartphones to connect with a router in a customer’s home or business.
With this expansion, Redzone is available to 100,000 homes, representing 17 percent of all Maine households, according to Michael Forcillo, Redzone vice president. The company aims to reach 25 percent of the state’s population by the end of the year and “more than 90 percent of Maine’s residents and businesses within a few short years,” McKenna said Thursday.
“Redzone Wireless is investing capital in Maine, creating jobs in Maine, hiring people in Maine, and at the same time, helping solve a real infrastructure problem that is holding back economic development in our state,” Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais stated in the release.
“The expansion of Redzone’s network highlights how several Maine-based organizations can collaborate to solve an important technology issue for the people of Maine while creating jobs,” said Gregory A. Dufour, president and CEO of Camden National Bank, who provided financing to Redzone.
Prospective residential and business customers can view available service plans and sign up online at redzonewireless.com.