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Richard Goodin wrote:

I have been planning my WISP for about a year, and have yet to begin delivery of bandwidth to customers. My choice for service delivery was 802.11b, but with increased competition from other services nearby (about 5 miles away) I am wondering how to avoid problems. I have a 50' tower, and it is ROHN 45g. My choice for antennas would be 4 90 degree horizontal antennas. I have looked at bandwidth and shopped it to death. My best price is $400 from Lime Light. And I've built a couple of servers, acquired some switches and a router. The Router is a Cisco 1750.

My questions:

What CPE's and AP's would work best in this environment?

There are so many options here that this could be a difficult question to answer without a great deal more understanding in what you want to do. Here is what I do:

You should have some Wifi based gear for your general purpose Internet customer. Having Wifi around is so inexpensive that I think it is mandatory to have some form of it available any place you serve broadband. It is like having water at a restaurant, you just have to have it. It just makes sense when it costs so little to have it there. Sadly the best Wifi solutions available do not have 100% FCC compliance. There are some that do though. Tranzeo is a good example. Look at Tranzeo for your Wifi based gear needs.

If cost is a significant factor then I would look at Tranzeo, Trango and possibly Canopy for your "meat and potatoes" fixed broadband. Know that these systems are not considered to be carrier grade and they have limitations. I have used Trango for years with very good value for the money and still think you can have a good system using Trango. I am guessing Tranzeo is just as good and has some extra speed added. I am not a personal fan of Canopy but I know many out there who are and I am sure they have their successes and can prove a good value for the money. With that said I have reasons to not like Canopy as is my right. I am speaking for myself and choose not to use Motorola products in my network.

In 900 MHz I use Waverider. This should be used primarily in places where trees and other obstructions make it hard to deliver broadband. Where you are located this does not sound like a problem. Waverider builds an extremely solid solution for broadband delivery. I understand from others that Trango and Canopy are solid in this space also. I have not used them but I have no reason to doubt them. I know Alvarion has a 900 MHz system but I have not used it nor have I spoken to others who have much experience with Alvarion's 900 MHz solutions. 900 MHZ is probably not a requirement for you unless it would be just to avoid interference in other wireless bands.

I just received (in the last hour) a shipment from Alvarion. I am going to start migrating my 5 GHz Trango over to Alvarion BreezeAccess VL Product line. I did this for a number of reasons.

I have heard for years from people who have built multi-million dollar businesses in the wireless industry that Alvarion is the best. I have always regarded Alvarion as a leader in this industry but I have also never thought it was worth the added expense. I have changed my mind. I have had a great deal of loss of equipment due to lightning and other failures. It gets frustrating at each rainy season to start spending money like mad to replace bad gear. The reliability of Alvarion is attractive to me. I have spoken to many who see years of reliable service from VL gear. I want that. I want to have extremely reliable networks.

I want to take my network up to a higher standard of performance. I intend to expand my wireless network to cover a much larger area and serve many times more people than I do now. I find myself running out of capacity on my Trango links regularly these days. The Alvarion gear offers a great deal more bandwidth and packets per second delivery than anything else I have seen.

Alvarion VL is a carrier grade FCC legal delivery system for broadband and I want that. I think my network will be worth more money if the day ever comes that I would sell my business. I am not looking to sell my business but I would have to be a fool not to consider the possibility that someday an offer may be made that I would not walk away from. If that day comes I want a system that will bring the highest price on the market. I believe Alvarion will hold its value better and make my business worth more money than any other solutions out there.

Think about where you are now and where you want to be in the next 5 years, 10 years, 15 years. If you do then the answer(s) will be made for you as to which platform(s) to choose for your network. I wish you all the best and I hope you will consider going to http://signup.wispa.org/ and applying for membership in this organization. We work our tails off to help WISP operators regarding policy, technical, business and other issues. We could use your time, money and support. We need more paid members if we are to have more influence and credibility in making policy that helps our industry.
Best of luck,
John Scrivner



I want to keep interferance to a minimum, as well as control costs. My environment includes lots of desert, and single story buildings.

Lee


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