MSP Vet Launches For2FI, Bringing Wireless Internet Services To The Channel Masses
Alongside with its launch partner, master agent Telarus, For2Fi is making LTE connectivity for primary use a reality for businesses through the channel.
Business LTE provider For2Fi, born out of an idea that started at a solution provider organization, has officially launched, bringing unlimited wireless LTE access to customers through the channel.
For2Fi is making LTE connectivity for primary use -- not just backup -- a reality for businesses. The company is specializing in high-speed wireless services for hard-to-reach businesses and those that need connectivity immediately, said Andrew Gregoire, co-founder and CEO of Fall River, Mass.-based For2Fi.
"This is huge because a lot of partners can see the fit in areas where they didn't have the broadband reach," Gregoire said. "We wanted to make it as easy as possible, and partners are reaching out to opportunities they may not have thought about in the past."
The new company will be exclusively working with master agent Telarus to bring its services to solution providers, executives for both companies told CRN.
For2Fi will do 100 percent of its business through the channel.
There's been a "noticeable gap" for years in the market between wired carriers, such as cable and fiber providers, and wireless carriers, said Telarus co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Patrick Oborn.
Many businesses today are only using LTE networks as a backup solution or for a very low-usage use case, Oborn said. "The big fear about 4G is that if you ever had to rely on it, the price would be astronomical, he said.
Telarus processes about 4,000 coax and best-effort fiber orders a month, but 20-25 percent of those deals fall apart due to the installation being too expensive for a site, or construction being an issue, Oborn said.
"We've not had anything to offer these customers as a viable alternative for a primary use circuit in these cases, so we see all of this revenue slipping though our fingers every month," he said.
Launched this week with the help of Sandy, Utah-based Telarus, For2Fi is seeing "a lot hype" and a great deal of interest from partners, Gregoire said.
Gregoire previously served as co-founder and CEO of ACE Technology Advisors, a Fall River, Mass.-based MSP, for more than nine years until late 2019. In working with a specific retail customer with many sites, Gregoire saw an opportunity to move from the agent space into the managed 4G LTE space with a wireless offering that no one seemed to be bringing to the table, he said. With the help of Telarus, Gregoire co-founded For2Fi alongside John Reed, vice president of sales and operations for the new firm.
ACE Technology Advisors continues to be led by Gregoire's co-founder, Lou DiMuzio, president of ACE Technology Advisors.
Without For2Fi as an option, some partners have been offering 4G LTE as a connectivity option by bundling multiple customer locations with a set wireless data plan to avoid overage charges. However, separate locations still have to share and balance out the data pool between sites.
For2Fi's offering includes a single SIM card with a high amount of data that an organization can use at a site, while not getting punished for using a high amount of data. For2Fi is working with a T-Mobile partner to provide the high-throughput SIM cards up to 300 gigs, which is on-par with the amount of data many businesses use on a coax or fiber line, Gregoire said. The For2Fi service is only offering 4G LTE connectivity initially as 5G technology isn't yet widespread and still has some throughput and throttling issues, he said.
The firm will source and configure the equipment on behalf of partners, and will also remotely monitor and manage devices for customers while partners earn monthly recurring revenue and cable-level commissions, he said.
Because there's also no contract and customers pay on a month-to-month basis, the solution can give partners access to new customers and use cases they never would have been able to accommodate before, including event-specific connectivity for a short period of time, such as a concert, or even emergency field hospitals that are being quickly set up to serve COVID-19 patients, Oborn said.
"We want to make partners look like heroes," Oborn said, noting that he and Gregoire are expecting a large initial swell of orders from solution providers have perhaps shelved until a connectivity product like Fort2Fi was available.
For2Fi and Telarus plan on building out the company as it ramps up by bringing on channel managers and a channel chief. Gregoire is currently the acting channel chief of the firm.