Tag Archives: affordable

RTO Wireless and Microsoft announce agreement to deliver broadband internet to rural communities in New York and Maine

TV white spaces and other new technologies will provide affordable, reliable broadband access to approximately 290,000 people

REDMOND, Wash. — July 24, 2018 — On Tuesday, RTO Wireless and Microsoft Corp. announced a new agreement to provide broadband internet access to more than 290,000 people living in unserved rural regions of New York and Maine. The partnership is part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative, which aims to extend broadband access to 2 million people in unserved portions of rural America by July 4, 2022.

Currently, 19.4 million people living in rural areas in the United States lack access to a broadband internet connection. RTO Wireless will use innovative techniques and technologies, including TV white spaces and Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), to deliver fixed and mobile wireless services to rural markets within the U.S., with initial rollouts across 16 counties in Maine and 20 counties in New York.

“Without reliable internet access, many people living in rural America are unable to take advantage of the same opportunities as their urban neighbors,” said Shelley McKinley, Microsoft’s head of Technology and Corporate Responsibility. “We are excited to partner with RTO Wireless to bring broadband to students, farmers, educators and business owners across the Southern Tier and North Country of New York and Western Maine so that they have an equal opportunity to learn, grow, contribute and prosper in the 21st century economy.”

“The TV white spaces technology ecosystem championed by Microsoft provides a critical low-band function enabling tremendous RF propagation over a large service area,” said Steve Hubbard, CEO of RTO Wireless. “Microsoft is contributing tremendous resources to solving the lack of broadband options in rural America. Joining the Microsoft Airband Initiative will enable RTO to enhance the educational, healthcare and agricultural services that can be provided to the rural communities. RTO is proud to launch its initial networks in New York and Maine with an impressive consortium of technology partners to deliver exciting applications and services.”

This partnership between Microsoft and RTO Wireless will complement the already established and successful “broadband for all” initiative in New York. In 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature established the $500 million New NY Broadband Program, the nation’s largest and most ambitious state investment in broadband expansion. Three rounds of grants using a reverse-auction method have expended this $500 million and provided support to projects that deliver high-speed internet access to unserved and underserved areas of the state.

Leaders in New York have offered strong support for closing the rural broadband gap in the U.S.:

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, District 23, said, “We care about the promotion of rural broadband, and this announcement will allow more hardworking people in our region to access the digital economy and quality, family-sustaining jobs. We will continue our work in Washington to promote broadband infrastructure through funding and fair regulation.”

U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, District 27,  said, “New York’s 27th Congressional District is 65 percent underserved by broadband technologies, and it is welcome news that RTO Wireless and Microsoft are taking action to expand service in five of the counties I represent. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, I’ve been able to work on policies that will help bring more broadband to rural America. We still have a long way to go in making sure all of Western New York has reliable access to broadband, but I commend Microsoft for its investment in our area that will benefit thousands of my constituents.”

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, District 21, said, “This is excellent news, and I applaud Microsoft and RTO Wireless for working to bring broadband to our district. Increasing access to broadband is critical to ensuring our businesses can compete, our economy can grow and our children have access to the best educational resources. At the federal level, I am pleased to be a leader on expanding access to rural broadband and will continue to work to ensure the North Country has access to this critical 21st century infrastructure.”

U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, District 22, said, “Broadband internet access unlocks pathways to better education, business growth, health and so much more. Microsoft and RTO Wireless’ new agreement to bring broadband to underserved rural regions of New York, including to people in the 22nd District, ensures our community can take advantage of the opportunities offered by today’s digital economy.”

The Microsoft Airband Initiative is focused on bringing broadband coverage to rural Americans through commercial partnerships and investment in digital skills training for people in the newly connected communities. Proceeds from Airband connectivity projects will be reinvested into the program to expand broadband to more rural areas.

About RTO Wireless

RTO Wireless is a “Rural Technology Operator” who has solved a unique set of operational and economical constraints plaguing rural broadband & narrowband connectivity, by incorporating the latest wireless connectivity technologies across TV White Space, CBRS, LoRaWAN and traditional spectrum bands. RTO is founded by executives with vast experience building and operating neutral host and wholesale wireless affiliate & roaming networks for top tier mobile operators. In 2018, RTO’s financial commitments to new wireless infrastructure construction has exceeded $150,000,000. RTO is building wireless infrastructure for rural communities to access fixed broadband services and IoT applications, including middle mile backhaul connections to serve education, healthcare, public safety, utilities, asset tracking, precision agriculture, connected vehicles, and environmental applications. RTO’s neutral host rural networks enable dynamic partnerships with IoT ASPs, wireless carriers and wireline/cable operators in need of higher capacity rural network footprint. More information can be found at www.rtowireless.com.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

RTO Wireless Media Requests: Please submit requests through the RTO website: www.rtowireless.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Meet Surface Go, starting at $399 MSRP, it’s the smallest and most affordable Surface yet – Microsoft Devices Blog

Today, Microsoft announces Surface Go: the most portable and affordable Surface product yet.

Many of us play different roles throughout the day, moving from work or school to home and everywhere in between. Our team designs every Surface to adapt to that dynamic lifestyle, to strike a balance between performance and versatility, form and function. Our products don’t do just one thing because people don’t do just one thing.

We pioneered categories like the 2:1 to provide the mobility of a tablet with the performance of a laptop, inspiring new ways of creating. As you pursue your passions, connect with friends and family, and work with your team, the products you’re able to take on the go with you are the ones that can keep up with the huge range of things you want to accomplish. This is true whether you’re a parent and a product-maker like me or a student and amateur photographer like my daughter.

That’s the idea behind the design of Surface Go – our smallest, lightest, and most affordable Surface yet. When we designed this device, we had to ask ourselves what people want and need from a 10” Surface. The answers seem obvious – lightweight, productive, and accessible to more people. I’m pumped to introduce you to Surface Go, because it’s all those things, and so much more.

The power and connectivity in a device this small gives you the style and productivity Surface is known for in a more convenient package. At just 1.15 pounds and 8.3 mm thin, Surface Go packs portable performance into a 10” device. Starting at $399 MSRP, it represents a new entry point for the Surface family, while keeping the premium qualities that have come to define it.

Surface Go offers a stunning, custom-built high-resolution PixelSense Display that supports Surface Pen with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, low pen parallax, low latency, and precision for accurate note taking, drawing and computer-aided design. The custom calibrated 3:2 display is soft on your eyes while you’re working and vibrantly high-contrast when you want to watch videos, create art, or edit photos.

In portrait mode, the screen was designed to render the page to the scale of most school textbooks, and in landscape mode, it can render pages side by side as if you were holding a paperback book in hand. At the approximate size of a composition notebook, writing on the screen feels natural and intuitive.

Since my two youngest daughters have started using Surface Go, I see them watching movies, reading, and drawing on it every day. It’s the perfect device for them. And for me, whether I’m at home, in the office, or on a plane, putting my Surface Pen on the screen and letting my thoughts flow is a necessary step in my creative process. It’s how I work. It’s so easy to carry Surface Go with me so I can capture those moments, instantly.

Surface Go is small and mighty, giving you the performance you need to be productive. A device powered by the 7th Generation Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y, in a fanless design, offering up to nine hours of battery. Our team worked closely with Intel to optimize power, performance, and battery for the most critical tasks people perform every day.

Being able to run Office apps on this device with its portability is one of the things that was critical to the experience we had in mind when we designed Surface Go – the productivity of having the apps you use for work and school with the flexibility to relax and read or watch a show on Netflix or Hulu.

Our new Surface Go Signature Type Cover is custom-made for Surface Go integrating design features that give the user the best typing experience possible, with ergonomic key pitch and exceptional key travel. It also has high precision tuning and Windows Precision Trackpad that supports five-point multi-finger gestures, and you can connect the new Surface Mobile Mouse to work the way that you want.

A built-in kickstand with full friction hinge that extends to 165 degrees helps you stay in your flow from tablet to studio mode, and a Windows Hello camera allows for familiar, quick, and secure sign-in using face recognition.

Surface Go also has the ports you need, including Surface Connect for charging and docking; USB-C 3.1 for data, video, and charging; a headphone jack; and a MicroSD card reader for storage expansion. All designed to help you be more productive whether you’re studying in a library, working on a plane, or sharing your content in a boardroom on a 4K monitor.

Surface Go with Wi-Fi will be available for pre-order tomorrow, July 10 in select countries*, with products beginning to hit shelves on August 2. We’re also happy to share that an LTE model will be arriving later this year.

For a family at home or on the move, an expert on the front line of a business interacting with customers, or a school that wants to provide its students with the most versatile tools for learning, this device offers a premium experience with incredible value.

Wherever the day takes you, and whatever unique tasks await you along the way, Surface Go moves with you.

Meet Surface Go, starting at $399 MSRP, it’s the smallest and most affordable Surface yet

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*Availability:

Surface Go will be available for pre-order beginning on July 10 in the following markets, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

In the coming weeks, Surface Go will be available for pre-order in Japan, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and in China with more markets to follow.

** To learn more join us on our Facebook page at 6AM PT on July 10. 

Updated July 10, 2018 7:37 am

RADWIN and Microsoft announce strategic partnership to deliver innovative TV White Space solutions | Stories

The partnership will help make broadband more affordable and accessible for underserved and unserved customers in the rural U.S. and around the world

REDMOND, Wash. — July 2, 2018 — On Monday, RADWIN and Microsoft Corp. announced a new strategic partnership to address the rural broadband gap. RADWIN, a world leader in delivering high-performance broadband wireless access solutions, will be developing and introducing to the market TV White Space solutions to deliver broadband internet to unserved communities. Focused on introducing innovative technologies into the TV White Space market, the partnership will expand the TV White Space ecosystem, making broadband more affordable and accessible for customers in the rural U.S. and around the world. This partnership is part of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, which aims to expand broadband coverage using a mixture of technologies including TV White Space.

Broadband is a vital part of 21st century infrastructure. Yet, only about half of the world’s population is connected to the internet. New cloud services and other technologies make broadband connectivity a necessity to starting and growing small businesses and taking advantage of advances in agriculture, telemedicine and education. According to findings by the Boston Consulting Group, a connectivity model that uses a combination of technologies, including TV White Space, can reduce the cost of extending broadband coverage in rural communities. TV White Space is an important part of the solution, creating broadband connections in UHF bands and enabling communication in challenging rural terrains and highly vegetated areas, all while protecting broadcasters and other licensees from harmful interference.

“The TV White Space radio ecosystem is rapidly growing, and we are excited to work with RADWIN to bring innovative technologies to market at a global scale,” said Paul Garnett, senior director of the Microsoft Airband Initiative. “Our partnership with RADWIN, a recognized global leader in fixed wireless broadband access, will help address the rural broadband gap for residents and businesses, enabling farmers, healthcare professionals, educators, business leaders and others to fully participate in the digital economy.”

“RADWIN is a leading provider of broadband access solutions, enabling service providers globally to connect unserved and underserved homes and businesses,” said Sharon Sher, RADWIN’s president and CEO. “We are therefore very excited to be Microsoft’s partner in leading a global effort to connect rural communities and grow the TVWS ecosystem in the U.S. and around the world. The addition of innovative TV White Space solutions to RADWIN’s portfolio, which complements our sub-6GHz and mmWave fixed wireless offering, would enable our service provider customers and partners to extend their footprint by connecting more remote subscribers in challenging deployment use cases, penetrating through terrain obstructions and vegetation, and therefore helping to close the digital divide.”

In addition to the partnerships with companies like RADWIN, Microsoft’s Airband Initiative invests in partnerships with internet service providers (ISPs) and other telecommunications companies, introduces innovative solutions for rural connectivity, and provides digital skills training for people in newly connected communities. RADWIN and Microsoft will be introducing the innovative TV White Space solutions to these Airband Initiative partners, as well as to the global telecommunications industry, during the second half of 2019.

About RADWIN

RADWIN is a leading provider of broadband wireless solutions. Deployed in over 150 countries, RADWIN’s solutions power applications including fixed wireless access, backhaul, private network connectivity, video surveillance transmission as well as delivering broadband on the move for trains, vehicles and vessels. RADWIN’s solutions are adopted and deployed by tier 1 service providers globally as well as by large corporations.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, +1 (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

RADWIN Media Contact, Tammy Levy, Marketing Communications Manager, +972-3-766-2916, pr@radwin.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com.Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Freshsales CRM

Freshsales CRM (which begins at $12 per user per month, with a free plan available) is an affordable customer relationship managegment (CRM) platform that lets sales professionals better understand their customers. Its entry level free plan is a great choice for small businesses new to the concept of CRM, and it also acts as a long-term free trial for companies deciding which product to choose.

The software is very easy to use and takes care of many manual tasks, such as logging phone calls, tracking emails, and customer research. It doesn’t quite rise to the level of our three Editors’ Choice products—Apptivo, Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional, and Zoho CRM—all of which offer more third-party integrations.

Freshsales CRM Pricing

Freshsales has four pricing tiers: Sprout, Blossom, Garden, and Estate. The Sprout plan is free and includes built-in phone, email integration, basic reporting, mobile apps, and integration with Freshdesk, Google G Suite, and Zapier. The Blossom plan ($12 per user per month) adds to that pipeline management, workflows, email sync, templates, MailChimp integration, and more. Next up, the Garden plan ($25 per user per month) adds advanced reporting and forecasting, territories, and more. Finally, the Estate plan ($49 per user per month) includes reports dashboards, multiple pipelines, lead scoring, and other advanced features. All plans include 24/7 email support and 24-hour phone support on weekdays.

Users can take advantage of the 30-day free trial (no credit card information required) by clicking on the sign-up button on the top right of the screen or the “sign up for free” button in the middle. Input your name, email, company, and phone number, and create a custom domain (name.freshsales.io). That field auto-fills as your company name, but you can change it to whatever you want. Once you submit that information, Freshsales opens with a tour of the software that outlines the main features. After the tour, you’re prompted to invite your team. Finally, you need to activate your account via email and then create a password. Remember your domain name, as that’s how you’ll have to log in to your account.

Contacts, Leads, Deals, and Reports

After you log in, you see your list of leads, which includes a sample record. Along the top of the screen, you can see how many days remain in your free trial, click to upgrade to a paid account, create a new record (lead, contact, account, etc.), compose an email, view notifications, and manage account settings. Along the left side of the screen, you can access other parts of the CRM. Underneath leads are contacts, accounts, deals, conversations, calendar, reports, dashboard, and settings. You’ll also find sample data in contacts and accounts, and sample tasks in the calendar. The tasks reminders were sent to my email, seemingly to encourage me to play around with the software.

Freshsales uses the lead as the entry point. Once a lead is converted to a contact, the associated company information populates into an account record; add the website URL and Freshsales automatically adds public information about the company, including its website, logo, social media, company size, address, and other details, just as it does with contacts and leads. When we added PC Magazine as account, it pulled in the correct street address, phone number, and social media accounts.

When you add or update a new record, a panel opens on the right side of your screen so you can input the information without navigating away from whatever you were working on. You can also upload leads from a CSV file, but you can’t connect it directly to another CRM. Users can also capture leads by embedding a form on their website.

When you add a new lead or contact and include their email address, Freshsales auto-enriches the profile by pulling in associated Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles. This way you can see what your leads and contacts are interested in and what they’re talking about, so you have a starting point.

You can filter leads, contacts, and accounts by any field, as well as by lead score, and based on when they were last contacted. Users can also conduct bulk actions, including sending an email and assigning records to different sales reps.

The Deals section of Freshsales is set up in a Kanban-style view, and deals can be dragged and dropped to different stages along the pipeline. You can customize the stages in the pipeline and change the order to your liking.

Freshsales offers several communication tools, including email templates, campaigns, and integrated phone and voicemail, and call recording. The idea is to be able to conduct all of your outreach without leaving the software or having to input updates manually. You can save files (up to 20MB) from your computer or cloud storage, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, in the software too and add them as email attachments. Users can track email open- and click-rates for any messages sent through the software or via connected email accounts; there are also metrics available for email templates so you can gauge which are the most successful. A team inbox feature syncs with generic company email addresses, such as info@company.com, so that those emails can be tracked, and new leads are automatically added to the system.

You can connect any IMAP-compatible email account to Freshsales, including Gmail, Office 365, and Zoho Mail. This will sync the inbox and sent folder. On the Conversation tab, you can view an “Awaiting Response” folder so you can see where you need to follow up. Freshsales has a built-in calendar and task manager and can also sync with Google Calendar.

Automating manual tasks is a big part of Freshsales, and that includes the ability to set up workflows. You can set up triggers and conditions for any record in Freshsales. For example, you can have it create a task when a lead sends an email. Or you can set it up so that an email is sent to a contact after a certain amount of time passes without communication.

Freshsales also has a full-featured mobile app for Android and iOS that sales reps can use in the field to access information and update records after meetings and phone calls. Once a contact becomes a customer, all relevant information can be shared with customer service agents if you’re also using Freshdesk support. This way, agents have the most up to date information.

Reports are available for conversations, tasks, appointments, and leads, contacts, and accounts. There are several built into the software, but you can also customize your own. The reports can be viewed in chart form and exported as a CSV or a PDF file. You can even schedule reports to be emailed monthly, weekly, or daily.

Freshsales has some third-party integrations, including the email and calendar programs mentioned above, as well as with , , one of our Editors’ Choice products in this category, which is also affordable. Or you should consider Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional, which is more expensive but highly customizable.