Steve,

What defines something as carrier grade should also be:

1. Scalablity
2. True QOS ( QOS performance in the upstream and downstream )


On Apr 12, 2006, at 9:38 AM, Steve Stroh wrote:


John:

Here's my working definition of "carrier grade":

Designed for use by carriers
Suitable for use by carriers
Sufficiently reliable for use by carriers

There is MUCH that goes into a product designed for use by carriers. It's expensive and a tough market, so a lot of vendors don't try. Here are just a few features that are "carrier grade requirements" from my perspective:
* Designed for use in all conceivable weather elements
* Designed for long operational use with minimal attention (in the WISP market, one measure is that it doesn't reboot itself, or require regular reboots)
* Designed for easy and fast repair
* The vendor stocks ample replacement units deployed geographically for fast supply. * Support expertise by the vendor is readily available (excellent, easy-to-access tech support). Note that such support is almost never free, and carriers don't expect it to be. When they need help, they need it NOW and need to get their systems back online fast. (Carriers often have mandated time-to-repair maximums by regulatory agencies.) * Subtle features like strain relief on all connectors, meeting the telecom industry requirements for rack mounting, built-in protection for power line surges and lightning.
* Superb monitoring and remote control capabilities
* Offer continuous VERY-in-depth training programs at the factory so that carriers can get their personnel FULLY up to speed on a product. Again, this almost never free, and carriers don't expect it to be. * Offer continuous product improvement, bug fixes, recalls when appropriate, and does so proactively when an issue is identified, and does so in a way to minimize downtime such as offering proactive replacement units.

Etc.

Regarding "Alvarion versus WISPs"... it's pretty simple. By offering "more like carrier-grade" products, Alvarion saw FAR more market demand by carriers, public safety, enterprise than they saw in the WISP market. They are willing to sell to WISPs, but few WISPs are willing to take the time to truly understand Alvarion's value proposition which involves FAR more than mere price of the product. You've finally come around to this view John, and you'll discover that you have a lot of company in that view - which isn't (widely) represented on this list or necessarily within WISPA. That's because operators who have spent the money for quality gear like Alvarion's generally don't have NEARLY as many issues with such gear that require "group support"... and such operators don't wish to associate their businesses with the "we'll just hack up a Linksys AP and have cheap gear" attitude that a lot of people in the telecom industry equate with WISPs.

Is Alvarion arrogant? Yes, at times, and certain individuals. But I think that's mostly a lot of pride and recognition that they were one of the pioneering companies in making it possible to offer carrier-grade services in license-exempt spectrum - something that the telecom industry KNEW could NOT be done. It's also the case that Alvarion offers the broadest product line in Broadband Wireless Internet Access - licensed and license-exempt, fixed and mobile, high-capacity and low-capacity, etc. Alvarion has very capable competitors in various segments, but I can't think of any company that competes head-to-head with Alvarion in all segments, even Airspan.


Thanks,

Steve

On Apr 11, 2006, at 20:51, John Scrivner wrote:

I decided to do some reading on the term "carrier-grade" and have found the following to be what is considered a definition in relation to our industry. One random source on the web refers to this as, "A term that implies a system that is designed to have increased availability and timeliness to meet the requirements of a modern communications network element." I saw this quantified on one site as being, a network device which has a sustained uptime of over 99.999%. This was as close to a quantifiable definition as I have found though it gives no length of time or other parameters to use for calculation of this percentage. According to Hughes Software Systems in regard to "Carrier-grade" they state that equipment can only be considered "Carrier-grade" after several years of real field use shows that it is highly available and reliable. In the end it is a very subjective term and one I will not use in the future unless I can quantify the classification. Basically there is no firm definition but I have heard of Alvarion referred to as "Carrier-grade" by others and mistakingly assumed it was a clearly defined characteristic. My apologies for this error in wording.

With that said I still think Alvarion is a far better platform than Canopy which is strictly my opinion and has no basis in fact. In the past I have been put-off by a perceived arrogance I have seen by some Alvarion representatives who have insisted previously that they had the "only" viable solution for wireless broadband and seemed as though they were claiming almost a "holier than thou" behavior toward anyone stating another opinion than their own. I have also seen a terribly biased negative attitude toward Alvarion by many WISPs who wanted to drive home the "WISP=Cheap" mentality to the point of alienating Alvarion from our entire market segment. Both Alvarion and most WISPs have lost a great ally in each other and I suspect both sides have suffered from such negativity. I am hoping to see this division closed between the typical WISP operator and Alvarion.


---

Steve Stroh
425-939-0076 | [EMAIL PROTECTED] | www.stevestroh.com

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