Starry, an upstart startup, has created a plug-and-play wireless Internet-access technology that can deliver a full gigabit of data through a tabletop device no bigger than a metronome on top of a piano.
Typical Wi-Fi networks operate on the 2.4- to 5-gigahertz radio bandwidths, with higher numbers able to handle more data. Starry has moved all the way to the millimeter wavebands that range from 30 to 300 GHz, which are better suited to moving larger bandwidths — just in time for a future in which as much as 80 percent of Internet traffic will be high-bandwidth video. Millimeter waves now are used primarily for radio astronomy, remote sensing and other data-heavy specialized apps.
Starry’s receivers attach to the outside of a building and signals are sent wirelessly to a small indoor router. The devices will be on sale in the Boston area for $350 through Amazon and starry.com this spring. The service will roll out across the rest of the US starting later this year.