These are good and important questions Tom. I think StarOS and Mikrotik
offer tremendous value for some WISPs, but it really depends. One big
thing it depends on is the operator's exit strategy. Once that money is
spent on a home brew solution, I'm not sure it ever comes back.
BreezeACCESS VL is fully certified and manufactured in ISO-certified
plants and also uses ISO-certified components. I can tell you the MTBF
of VL is: 550,110 hours for the AU/SU ODU, 1,667,502 hours for the AU
IDU, and 169,929 for the SU IDU. 
Money spent on Alvarion is returned by increasing the equity value of
the network and making the network much more valuable to roll-ups. I do
not know anyone with a large homebrew network that was rolled up (I am
sure there are examples, I just don't know 'em). I do know several with
Alvarion networks that have been rolled up.

And even if you do don't want to get rolled up or sold, what is the
lifespan of a home brew solution? Can it carry you forward to additional
services? What's the OPEX environment look like -- is the gear cheap but
the ongoing maintenance and worry offset that? I don't pretend to know
that since I am only anecdotally familiar with what Lonnie's product
offers or what the guys in Latvia can really deliver.

-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Tom DeReggi
Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2006 2:00 PM
To: WISPA General List
Subject: Re: [WISPA] vendor specs

To be fair, you shouldn't leave out OEM products from the discussion 
(Mikrotik / StarOS)
These products are actually competitors to all the lines that were

I think the best decission, may be more relevant to what capacity that a

WISP intends to need, and finance ability for the size it intends to
For example, I believe having the first-in pick of a cell site, will 
guarantee better performance and reliabilty to the subscribers than the
of Radio that is selected.
Thats one of the reasons that we chose Trango, we were able to deploy a
number of sites cost effectively and reliably with the product, with
financing and capitol.

Where product justification may come in, is when a WISP scales larger. 
There is a big benefit to be able to deliver 30 mbps to a sector. The
is that it allow oversubscription to high ARPU subs when doing PtMP.  I
sell 5 mbps speeds and oversubscribe. Thats hard to do on a 10mbps
Of course their is the arguement that there is little benefit to having
fast sectors with a limited speed backhaul.  But many WISPs that would 
justify Alvarion, may have fiber at their cell sites or afford Licensed 

The question is, will your market support the higher vision? For
example, if 
we would have chosen Alvarion 5 years ago, we would have bankrupted, as 
their was not enough customer awareness to allow us to make enough sales

quickly enough to cost justify it.  It also depends on roof right fees.
you are paying a premium, it helps to go after higher ARPU and VOIP
to help jsutify the high lease fees.  Its harder to make it work for
data revenue.  If you have good lease deals, this is not an issue.   So
of it is the ratio of antenna lease fee to the capacity of teh radio 
(capcity including amount of voice it can do).

The point I'm making is that the winner is not necessarilly based on the

spec sheet, its based on the business plan.

I'm seeing a clear picture of when and where Alvarion would be the
choice, and I see a clear picture of when and where Trango would be the 
clear choice, but I'm having a hard time homing in on any specific case 
where Canopy would be the Clear better choice.

I beleive Canopy, is now an adequate choice for just about any of the 
markets, but where is it the best choice?  Maybe Canopy is the product
offers a good compromise to fit into each of the markets? Advantage
offers a 
lit more speed than Trango in some areas, and a little better cost than 
Alvarion, and although not the lowest or best, it offers affordable
on the low end. I'm sure many Canopy users won't agree with that said 
statement. But considering price, and business plan, not just features, 
where would Canopy fit, as the best product for a specfic need?

About the only thing that I've homed in on would be, a location where 
Horizonatl noise is higher than verticle, and the provider has a large 
number of Verticle systems planned (GPS sync), and is worried about 
interfering with himself, and noise is high enough that C/I is a big 
concern, and the provider may outsource a lot of technical duties, so
to control high outsourced technical costs by choosing a more consistent

product that has less technical firmware issues?

For that reason, I may see where a large national company Canopy for
lower volume sites, that Alvarion was not cost justified for.

For the record, the specfic cases that I feel trango is jsutified as the

preferred case, is all cases where Alvarion has not been cost jsutified

I've really been happy with Trango in general, but the reason we are
for other options is that, we are starting to saturate some 10 mbps
doing a lots more VOIP, and need the flexibilty of external antennas,
and as 
more CPEs are on a sector, its more and more important to ahve SNR
for troubleshooting.  But I'd say that still, 75% of my markets are
positioned with Trango, and I'd not likely replace them all with
I'm picking and choosing where I need it and where I don't.

I'd argue that the comparison has to be....

For a starter system, Canopy or Trango?
For a higher capacity system, Alvarion or StarOS/Mikrotik?

I don't really see the point in comparing Trango to Alvarion, they are
totally different capacity platforms.  What needs to be decided is which

markets would allow you to get the capacity from Alvarion. For example
the nise floor is to high for OFDM PtMP, Trango or Canopy may still be 
better for the market.

In then when OFDM is jsutified, do you spend the big dollars on
Alvarion, or 
do you buy home brew OEM?

The question comes up, do you pay $3000/$1000 for rigid platform
or $300/$300 for a flexible OEM one (StarOS/Mikrotik)?

I'd argue that Alvarion's competitor is the OEM product line.
Alvarion offers:

Legal system
Excellent Support
Right out of the box
Easy to Manage
Smart firmware (but lean to WISP relevent features).
Impossible to misconfigure.
Best VOIP throughput.
Excellent channel to buy from

OEM offers:

Not technically legal
Many headaches (buying, availabilty, configuration and licensing quirks,

Less consistent service (WiFi protocols)
Not the best firmware or troubleshooting tools, but.....
Unbelievable Price!
Additional RF links from one unit, for just $50. (This is big, saving
radio costs and labor costs, and preventing custom box connection
that are expensive for relaying).
One of these OEM systems will allow a WISP to get to more subscribers 
quicker than any other system on the market. (higher speeds, and
NLOS by relaying).

If I were Alvarion, I'd be offering radios with Dual Ethernet ports,
Dual radios, so WISPs had more flexibilty.  I'd argue that its harder to

give up the benefits of OEM Flexibility than OEM price, for ambitious 

Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Travis Johnson" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <>
Sent: Saturday, September 23, 2006 12:10 AM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] vendor specs

> Trango offers many different CPE (5830, Fox, Fox Atlas, etc.). They
> listed on their website the Fox Atlas CPE for $149 for a 30 pack
> This is a 10Mbps radio and with a $30 dish will reach up to 10 miles.
> I currently have a 22 mile 900mhz link with Trango (using an omni on
> AP) and a 30.1 mile link with 2.4ghz Trango (also using an omni).
> The quantity discount pricing you have listed is very close to
> pricing on the 900mhz and 2.4ghz units... except Trango already has a
> polarity antenna AND an external antenna connector as part of that
> How much does the price go up on the Canopy (Cyclone?) to get the 
> connector? Are your guys having to haul two different radios for each 
> frequency just in case?
> Travis
> Microserv
> Anthony Will wrote:
>> Your numbers are a bit off on the canopy and when i looked on the
>> site it looks more in the range of $400 per unit at 30 pack pricing
>> trango's.  I believe your getting that price but at what qualities?
>> I have a couple hundred in the air and I have Midwest Wireless the
>> largest WISP in the country playing in my back yard using Alvarions
>> BA2 system all over the place.  And I also have a local ILEC,
>> and the remains of Xtratyme all over the rest of my coverage area.
>> PtmP system is all 900mhz and 2.4 ghz using omni's and I dont have
>> issues with interference.  The longest customer link I have on 900mhz
>> 18.5 miles and the longest 2.4 link is 12 miles.  I use omni's so
that I 
>> dont completely destroy the airwaves for others that are playing in
>> same sand box.
>> Canopy pricing:
>> AP = $898  (Advantage $1554) Single pricing
>> CPE = $267 (Advantage $402 ) 25pack pricing  Add $40 a unit for 15
>> range (stinger or beehive dish all FCC certified)
>> CPE = $216 (Advantage $324) 100 pack pricing Add $25 a unit for 15
>> range (stinger or beehive dish all FCC certified)
>> Anthony Will
>> Broadband Corp.
>> Travis Johnson wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I changed the subject line to reflect more the direction of this 
>>> discussion (Trango vs. Canopy vs. Alvarion)... ;)
>>> This is just off the top of my head, and I would love to see more
>>> on any of these radios:
>>> Trango 5830AP - $1,079 retail
>>> Dual polarity
>>> 10Mbps (auto up/down ratio)
>>> Easy management (CLI and web)
>>> $149 CPE ($199 up to 10 miles)
>>> Canopy 5.7 AP - $970 (Advantage $1,974)
>>> C/I advantage
>>> Fixed up/down ratio
>>> $490 CPE ($737 advantage)
>>> Alvarion VL AP - $4,500 (rough retail)
>>> 36Mbps and 40,000pps
>>> $1,000 CPE
>>> For whatever it's worth, we have over 2,500 CPE in the air and over 
>>> 2,000 are Trango (900mhz, 2.4ghz, 5.8ghz). The Trango product has
>>> very well for us, and we are located on some mountaintop repeater 
>>> locations that literally have over 100 antennas (paging, HAM, WISPs,

>>> etc.) within 100 yards of each other.
>>> Our biggest problem is frequency availability at all (regardless of 
>>> radio choice)... we have a 2.4ghz AP at a repeater station that is 
>>> "full". We attempted to install a second sector today and ran a site

>>> survey at this location.... across the entire 2.4ghz band, the
>>> signals ranged from -25 to -55 at the best. :(
>>> Travis
>>> Microserv
>>> Jon Langeler wrote:
>>>> Tom, I have nothing to gain or lose by telling you what we've not
>>>> extensivley tested but also experienced over 6 years. We started
>>>> canopy since it began shipping and at least 100 trango SU between 3

>>>> different towers since beta. I just hate to see fellow wisp protest

>>>> that there isn't a good product and struggle when their actually is
>>>> pretty darn good one...and on top of that has an upgrade path in
>>>> vision, it keeps getting better.
>>>> ARQ does not affect C/I like FEC does for example. When you say ARQ
>>>> fixing any resiliance problems that may be true. But you'll also
>>>> from increased latency and less throughput during those 
>>>> retransmissions. Not good if you want to support VOIP and keep 
>>>> customers happy. Having a low C/I means the system will be stable
>>>> often and maintain a lower retrans. Trango's ARQ is not even an
>>>> in the 5800 model which is what you and I probably have a decent 
>>>> percentage of in our Trango networks. Having a low C/I requirement 
>>>> affects other things like increases the range of a product. I'm
>>>> out facts, you can convince yourself of whatever you want...
>>>> Jon Langeler
>>>> Michwave Tech.
>>>> Tom DeReggi wrote:
>>>>> Nice try, but I've found that comment to be not at all true. I
>>>>> often chosen to avoid canopy user's channels, but because I am a
>>>>> WISP neighbor, not because I had to.  Why fight if you can
>>>>> On a SPEC sheet Canopy does boast the lowest C/I.  But Trango's 
>>>>> specified C/I was reported before considering ARQ. And Trango has 
>>>>> always underspec'd their spec sheets.  C/I is not nearly as
>>>>> as SNR resilience anyway. With Arq, we've easilly ran links as low
>>>>> 4 db above the average noise floor, reliably.  There is VERY
>>>>> difference between the Trango and Canopy C/I in real world usage.
>>>>> Trango just adds more polarities as more options to work around
>>>>> when needed.  One of the reasons we like Trango is its resilience
>>>>> noise, that gives us the abilty to fight it out and stand our
>>>>> The Foxes w/ DISH, have excellent ARQ and resilience to Noise,
>>>>> their range and LOS.
>>>>> When we start to have trouble with Trango, is when we start to
>>>>> the limits of the technology.  Its a LOS technology that we
>>>>> NLOS with. My arguement is also not that we can't be the last man 
>>>>> standing. Its that when the battle happens the customer sees it,
>>>>> the customer does not tolerate it.  IF a Canopy and Trango went to

>>>>> war, one might survive a little better than the other, but
>>>>> both customers would feel the interference the majority of the
>>>>> Tom DeReggi
>>>>> RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
>>>>> IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband
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