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Android TV-powered Fixed Wireless Device SkyBoxe Receives FCC Certification

(Image credit: Skyboxe)

Startup Skyboxe said it has received FCC certification for a new fixed wireless device that would replace the cable modem, WiFi router and pay TV set-top in the home, all in one small box. 

The company is targeting a fall launch for its initial product, the Skyboxe Hub 4G, which would provide a 4G/LTE access point, an 802.11ac WiFi router, an ATSC 1.0 tuner for local broadcast channels, and Android TV-based connected device, with pre-loaded apps including Sling TV. 

The data sheet for the Skyboxe Hub 4G said it's capable of delivering download speeds exceeding 1 Gbps, although most LTE networks currently don’t support that. The device includes an Ethernet port that connects at 100 Mbps, which is plenty of broadband to drive most home-based internet applications. 

Skyboxe is currently taking “no obligation” signups on this landing page. It isn't disclosing pricing yet, either, but the company does say that in addition to the cost for the device, users will pay a "data servicing" charge. 

While currently focused on legacy 4G/LTE wireless network standards, Skyboxe said it’s “paving the way” for a fixed 5G wireless play down the road. Currently, cable companies are closing in on control of 70% of the U.S. fixed broadband market. But the major wireless carriers, as part of their 5G push, will soon try to convince consumers that they don’t need to pay both wireline and wireless broadband bills. 

"With our FCC ID in hand, we can now enter into trials with our wireless carrier partners and accelerate certifications with them as a 'BYOD' (bring your own device) that consumers will be able to purchase in the coming months,” said Jeff Allen, CEO of Skyboxe, in a statement. “With Skyboxe, businesses and consumers will be able to combine their fixed and mobile data plans together to lower their total costs.”

San Jose-based Skyboxe is backed by Applied Digital Research Corp., a crowdfunded startup based in Sarasota, Florida. The Skyboxe leadership team includes CEO Jeff Allen, a former Brightcove and IBM video cloud executive; COO Rob Shambro, a veteran tech entrepreneur; and marketing chief Bill Smith, formerly with TiVo.