Friday, January 18, 2008

If Not WiMax, Than WiWhat? The Wisp Persepctive

The WiMax craze is not over, but the train has certainly slowed a bit. The difference between what was expected and when it finally arrives has tempered some enthusiasm amongst Wisp afficiandos. Just what will we see... and when?

Some of the advertising for WiMax promised we'd all be delivering internet, tv, phone, running water, nicely done toast, etc to 300 customers per AP... all while driving 250mph in their Porsche's. So far it's not there yet and some wonder if it really even makes sense for the average rural Wisp. The current lineup of 802.11 gear has it's issues when used outdoors like Wisp's do, but the low cost and good compatibility between suppliers has allowed many Wisps to turn a profit (finally). Most aren't excited at all about spending lots more for equipment that solves problems that they really don't have. Not everyone is rural, but with low population densities it really doesn't pay to do much more than internet. Maybe some VoIP, but the investment for other services is hard to make work with too few possible customers.

So, what do Wisps really want? Personally, I'd think they'd like to not make their investment in equipment worth zero really quick, so it would be great if whatever comes next is compatible with some of the current hardware (8186, etc). Also, the idea of having more customers per application is great, but everyone has their own poling design. Also, better and more stable links with better NLOS capability are things Wisps can all use. Part of what makes the Wisp thing work is low cost equipment... and low cost equipment happens when there is decent competition and a standard to design to.

I doubt it will be backwards compatible. For years manufactures of Wimax were going back and forth arguing over "who's" standard to use. To this date everyone is still scratching their head to see who's they plan to use!

Wisps build out networks on todays equipment. That's just reality. They are not going to wait around for the magic bullet that will never appear... and if it does will not be anywhere near what they claim.

Generally, as a Wisp you have to look at what the needs are in your specific area and go from there. For example 802.11 b /g "stuff" will only take you so far. If you ask, I am sure every Wisp has started with it in one form or another... and expanded from there due to the needs of the environment and or client.

In all honesty, what you buy today will still be good a couple years down the road. And if you lay out your business plan correctly it will all be paid for... and you will be turning a profit by the time any new stuff comes out that you may need based on your client's needs. Then again... maybe you will be happy for the next 5-6 years with what you have now.

The moral of the story? Change is not always bad... but beware what you ask for. In the meantime keep truckin' with what you have. That may be all there is for awhile.

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Blogger Marco said...

Hello Michael,
marco here. (btw, great blog) I'd like to ask u a few Qs on T1 if ur time permits.

Q1: The T1 has 24 channels. If I have a company with 24 people, does it mean that I need a pbx system which uses all 24 channels for voice?
What if the 24 people are both on the phone and on the web, would a 24channel T1 work or is it not enough bandwidth?
OF course, this is a rare scenario.
Is it necessary to specify upfront how many channels are dedicated to voice?
Ex:say 10 are dedicated to voice, the other 14 offer BW to surf the web?
Can you give some examples?
I am confused with using a router and ADSL. In that case, I guess, multiple user can only use the web but not be on the phone, unless I get a phone line for a pbx and a phone line for a adsl.

10:56 AM  
Blogger FreedomFire said...


Read this has a lot of information for the questions you're asking:

You can also submit a request for info/rate quote on a T1 (no cost to you) here .... comes with free advice on the best option to meet your network requirements:

6:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your well prepared article. I have a question regarding whether to use WIMAX or Wisp. Our current environment doesn't not have wireless internet of any sort. I would like to know that most cost effective wireless network to deploy in a 2 km area with less than 2000 customers

1:13 PM  
Blogger FreedomFire said...

The articles on these 2 links will give you more information on WiMax and Wisps to help you make a decision....

If you're interested in starting a Wisp or a WiMax based business to offer services to others we can help answer questions and get you free quotes for the network backbone you'll need. Simply ask here ....

6:02 PM  

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