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Spectral Efficiency 'Phenomenal'

Edge Networks Fielding Evoca Interest From Other ATSC 3.0 Groups

Startup Edge Networks launched its Evoca-branded ATSC 3.0-based content service Sept. 1 in Boise (see 2008210021), and “we’ve got a wait list that’s many times longer than the number of folks we’re letting into the service at this standpoint,” CEO Todd Achilles told the NAB Show New York virtual event Tuesday. The service costs $49 monthly and is being discounted initially, he said. Evoca’s receiver box costs $100, and the consumer can pay it at once or through monthly installments, he said.

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Actual cord cutters, plus people who are “thinking about cutting the cord,” seem to be “most interested in the service,” said Achilles. Consumers “really want low price,” he said. “They’re tired of paying over 100 bucks for a pay-TV bundle, and they want reliable service, which a lot of the streaming services don’t provide because of the unmanaged internet into their homes. We’re trying to really win on those two dimensions.”

Evoca uses Edge’s own low-power TV stations in Boise, plus “we have seen a lot of interest from other broadcast groups that are interested in rolling out the Evoca service on their spectrum, on their licenses,” said Achilles. “We’re sort of going through the process now of looking at those and how those complement our organic deployment.”

The “spectral efficiency of 3.0 is phenomenal, much better than 4G or 5G,” he said. The IP backbone of 3.0 is “what really makes it significant,” he said. “We purposely built a converged hybrid architecture. There’s a portion of the channels that are delivered into the consumer’s home that come over the air. There’s another portion that are delivered over the internet connection over the box, and we sort of blend those two things together.” All consumers see on the screen are the channels and the program guide, he said.

BitPath, “despite the pandemic,” this year launched seven 3.0 markets, with nine more coming, including Mobile-Pensacola going live Wednesday, said President John Hane. The “big one for this year” will be Seattle in December, with “very wide participation in that market,” he said.