4G Unwired, Inc., an RF engineering consulting firm located on the Space Coast in Central Florida, designs and optimizes wireless networks for Tier 2 and 3 commercial operators throughout the U.S. They provide their clients with cost effective LTE design, optimization, and drive test training services remotely, primarily with Google Earth.
In addition to RF design services, 4G Unwired President Scott Robinson states “we help our clients manage their spectrum usage to keep up with data requirements.” The rapid growth of LTE data usage is necessitating the need for short cells, small cells and other types of innovative solutions. They also design WiFi, ODAS, and IoT networks.
Although they’re now gearing up for 5G applications, 4G Unwired president Scott Robinson states that they won’t be changing their name anytime soon: “4G Unwired has a good reputation in the Tier 2 and 3 wireless community, and much of our new business comes from client referrals in the Competitive Carrier (CCA) Association; it wouldn’t make sense to change our name.”
4G Unwired also has a global reach that includes clients in the Caribbean, Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. “It wasn’t in our business plan to do international work,” stated 4G President Scott Robinson when he founded the company with his partners in 2006. But the move to the international markets helped the company prosper during the Great Recession, a time that was difficult for many in the wireless industry.
It was during that time, that 4G Unwired figured out how to export RF propagation studies to Google Earth, enabling them to provide RF engineering services for clients anywhere in the world. Although commonplace today, 4G Unwired helped change the business model from costly onsite contract engineers, to much less expensive remote engineering services — a model that also works much better for rural carriers.
Today, 4G Unwired is designing additional LTE sites for several carriers. “The new administration at the FCC is really putting a premium on rural LTE deployment,” Robinson said, citing Congressional focus on Mobility Fund 11 and their mandate to expand broadband connectivity in rural areas. In addition, Robinson notes that FirstNet’s award to AT&T will have a profound impact on many rural carriers who will be providing LTE connectivity to AT&T.
In 2015, 4G Unwired was the first independent RF engineering company to get their test methodology approved by USAC for 901 Mobility Funding. Working with FCC attorneys, they have since helped many rural carriers receive their funding to help build high speed wireless networks in generally underserved areas.
Cellular carriers utilize 4G Unwired for several reasons. Some don’t have a fulltime RF engineer on staff along with the requisite (and quite expensive) suite of technical tools and software. For them, it’s more cost effective to use 4G Unwired on an as-needed basis. Robinson also noted that “Carrier RF engineers, especially in Tier 2 and 3 markets, have to wear a lot of hats and are responsible for a variety of operational KPI’s and system performance in addition to RF engineering tasks. 4G Unwired senior engineers are propagation experts that specialize in the air interface, and we have the expertise to work with 4G, 3G and 2G networks.” 4G Unwired also provides FCC engineering exhibits and services, an area not typically performed by carrier engineers.
Additionally, given the wide array of wireless solutions that exist in the market today, along with rapidly changing technologies, wireless operators look to 4G Unwired to assist them with their technology and spectrum plans. “We’ve been working with our clients from 2G to 3G to 4G and now we’re talking about 5G and IoT,” Robinson said. “4G Unwired has kept current by investing in both technical training and software tools.”
But that’s not all. “Being diversified is one of the keys for sustainability,” says Robinson, “but best practices engineering and friendly personalized services from our engineers is what keeps the phone ringing. I think that speaks volumes about our company.”
June 30, 2017