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So, who are these guys? And what do they want?

Who is Raze Technologies?
Incorporated in June 2000, Raze Technologies is expanding broadband services to markets with populations from 1,000 to 890,000 people where cable modem and DSL services are not available. Based in Plano, Texas, the company has developed a fixed broadband wireless access system. The SkyFire™ System gives local telecom service providers the power to offer bundled voice and data services to unserved markets at greatly reduced operating costs.

How did Raze start?
Initially, DSL was touted as the ultimate solution to the world’s Internet access problems. However, service providers soon found that DSL and cable modem service couldn’t reach a large percentage of subscribers due to "last mile" cable/wire impairments. Raze Technologies was founded on the realization that DSL and cable modem services will never fully satisfy the broadband Internet access needs of residential, small office/home office (SOHO) and small to mid-size business customers.

How is Raze Technologies funded?
Shortly after its June 2000 incorporation, Raze closed initial funding through LM Wireless Solutions L.P., a Dallas-based venture capitalist firm specializing in telecom investing.

How is Raze Technologies’ SkyFire system different from other wireless access solutions?
Using the SkyFire system, service providers can deliver high-speed Internet access, up to four voice lines and other services to each customer. A majority of Raze Technologies’ competitors offer Internet access only. This disparity promotes customer retention. Service providers can also roll out the system faster and at a lower cost than any other fixed wireless broadband system.

How does the SkyFire work?
SkyFire is a fixed broadband wireless access system, primarily using digital signal processing techniques to provide voice and data services. These services are delivered over a wireless infrastructure to residential, SOHO and small to mid-size business customers.

How can competitive service providers benefit from using the Raze SkyFire system?
Low deployment costs make it profitable for service providers to launch SkyFire in markets with as few as 1,000 subscribers. With costs starting at $2,000 per subscriber, other systems are cost-prohibitive in such markets. But with Raze, the cost per subscriber is a fraction of that figure. This significant savings gives competitive service providers an overall cost-model that’s less sensitive to penetration rates and more profitable overall. Plus, until now, CLECs were primarily successful only as business carriers because of high line-rental costs charged by ILECs. With Raze, service providers own their systems, so there are no prohibitive fiber costs or line rental costs charged by ILECs. In other words, Raze developed its SkyFire system to open new, smaller markets and residential markets. And, just as deployment costs are lower, so is the cost of ownership over the system’s life cycle. Additionally, SkyFire deploys faster and requires fewer maintenance calls than other systems, again increasing its profitability.

How can Raze Technologies offer this product at such a low cost?
Typically, in a fixed broadband wireless access system, 85% of the cost is in the subscriber unit; however, dramatic advances in silicon technology helped Raze Technologies build smaller subscriber units, requiring less power. By providing less expensive subscriber units, Raze Technologies has dramatically reduced the overall cost-point for competitive service providers.

With the popularity of DSL and cable modem services, is there really a market for this type of product?
Absolutely. According to major analysts, cable modem service is available to less than 44% of U.S. households, and DSL is expected to serve only 24% by the end of 2000. Studies also show that 50% of the United States will not have access to a DSL or cable modem line in the next five years. In addition, market trends are leaning toward the integration (or convergence) of voice and data services. Residential and business voice and data services have a combined value of about $100 billion. By 2005, systems offering converged voice and data services will have a market value of $150 billion. Raze Technologies will give service providers the ability to offer these bundled voice and data services in areas where DSL and cable modem services are unavailable.

Isn’t DSL faster?
No. Raze Technologies’ SkyFire system has the potential to operate up to 20 times faster than DSL.

What about interference from trees, buildings and weather?
We’ve made certain that interference will never be an issue with end-users. Raze Technologies has developed a number of algorithms using advanced digital signal processing techniques to eliminate multi-path distortions caused by buildings and trees. Plus, the SkyFire system works in frequency bands not affected by weather.

What about security?
The security of the RazeSkyFire system is comparable with DOCSIS-based systems, a standard pioneered for the cable modem industry.

 

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