I agree with what Mark said about your business plan. You won't easily have this thing stand on its own feet with that much competition and that small of a market. I would want to know before you start: Is this your vocation or your avocation? (your job or your hobby)

Your numbers seem dependent on everyone being spread evenly. I suspect that its laid out like most towns/counties. Most of your potential customers live within 1 mile of 5 other customers. In those situations, you can put a 2.4 AP on one house at the end of the street with a sector pointing down the other end, and get back 4 $400 CPE in trade for 4 $100 CPE. (save $1000). You want to make sure that your customers stay within 1 or 2 hops from the router. Things get a little hinky with 4 hops on a totally bridged network.

Another problem I see with your numbers is that 4096 people usually don't represent 4096 households. More like 1500. You write of half for DSL/Cable/the established WISP, another half for tree coverage, and figure on 30% market penetration for the rest. I think most of us in this business would be happy to get 10% of our potential customers. I don't think that you can pay your rent, your financial obligations, your broadband, and your truckrolls on 20 or 30 subscribers.

Also, you shouldn't give up on offering service to DSL/Cable areas. If you can offer reliable service, there is no reason to NOT go with you over cable/DSL, unless your services are 2x the price and 1/2 the speed.

My brother and I started in a similar position, in a town roughly 1.5X that size with no broadband competition 4 years ago. We have over 450 subs in 3 counties now, but we couldn't have done it if we stayed with one tower, one omni, or stayed with 900mhz (We started out on Waverider back then, but now have 2.4, 5.8 and 900) We also have competition in almost every area that we cover. Being the first broadband ISP in town makes a big difference with getting traction. I don't know if I would start out with the DSL/Cable/WISP competition we have now. Now I have a full time tech and a part time tech knocking out 6 installs/week and going on service calls, and an office with a girl answering calls and setting up/scheduling service/sales calls/collection calls and everyone stays busy. I stay busy keeping them busy, trained, stocked with supplies and caught up on service work. My brother stays busy trying to figure out how to pay everyone (the help, the suppliers, the broadband providers, the van mechanic, the tax man, the bank, etc, etc) and we go through money like corn through a duck.

We are reasonably successful and experiencing rapid growth, but are still carrying significant debt (roughly 8 months gross revenue of debt) after 4 years and I am still personally living below the poverty level and working 60+ hrs/week.

I would just be cautious before starting a WISP with the numbers you are describing without a plan to pay for it.

Pete Davis

Mark Nash - Lists wrote:
Man, it sounds like you need a business plan to get out of that town. Your network, I mean. You'll most likely need to either sell out, buy out the other WISP, or branch out either with your wireless network or establish a POP in another town. Do one of these things before you get burned out.

900MHz won't be like 2.4GHz. You won't have the distances which means more APs and backhauls and your CPE will be more expensive for those shorter hops as well. This I'm sure you've heard. Use the omnis for your area...seems appropriate. No geek war needed there. ;)

Mark Nash
Network Engineer
350 Holly Street
Junction City, OR 97448
541-998-5599 fax
----- Original Message ----- From: "Brian Rohrbacher" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 11:02 PM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] 900MHz Omni and gain

Let me add a little about what I have to work with. There are 4036 people in the township which is my main coverage area (I fork out a little, but the number are inline with these). 2,288 have access to DSL and Cable. This leaves 1748 people to go after. How many of those want broadband? I just did a quick google and the only number I saw said 30% of rural Americans have broadband. So I'll go with that for my number of who wants it. 30% is about 500 people. I guess this means my township that is 36 square miles has almost 15 subscribers per square mile that are ripe for the picking. And then add the fact that there are 2 total WISPs in this area. Cut the subs in half. I have 7 subs per square mile to go hook up. Wait, it seems like 50% of my site surveys fail due to the darn trees, at least I can still get those 3.5 subs per square mile. :) Now that I have given a little more info, do you guys still recommend sectors?


Brian Rohrbacher wrote:

Problem is I might only get 10-15 subs at these sites in the next year. Lets say I can buy 10 APs. I'd rather have 10 sites with omni's than 5 sites with 180* sectors. At 15 subs a site I'd have 150 subs on 10 omni's at $35 a month. That is $5250 a month. If I sectorize 5 sites with 15 subs that is 75 subs and only $2625 added to the monthly income.

Back to reality. I can't afford 10 APs.....but still, I don't see sectors as being such a great thing. What is the point of doubling the cost of a pop for no gain of subscribers?

Back to my question. If a guy wanted to use omni's for 900. What is a good choice?

Chris Cooper wrote:

We have a legacy 900 omni at 750' AGL. It really reaches out and touches remote customers, but it is visible to every other cell in the region and affects channel planning. Stick to sectors, they might be more expensive up
front but long term you will have more options.


-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Marlon K. Schafer
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 7:40 PM
To: Barry at Mutual Data; WISPA General List
Subject: Re: [WISPA] 900MHz Omni and gain

Due to the eirp limits at 900 (36dB total) your antenna choice really should
take into account the radio gain first.....

Having said that, a lot of people put in the high gain 900 omni antennas and
don't seem to have much trouble with them.

I agree with the sector idea though.

The 900 that I'm using now is trango. They have almost got the full eirp built right in to the radio/antenna system as it comes from the factory. The down side is that it takes 6 ap's to cover 360*. That can get spendy.
Especially if you pay rent per antenna.

As a rule, we are sectorizing more and more sites these days. Even the ones out in the sticks. There are too many other users out there showing up all
of the time.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Barry at Mutual Data" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 6:01 AM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] 900MHz Omni and gain

Hello Brian,

No more then 8db in my playbook anymore. And horz. if at all possible.

Sectors on 900 is the best way to go too.

I got an Antel 11db with downtilt that I would sell if you really want a
vertical omni. Heavy duty antenna.


Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 8:20:28 AM, you wrote:

BR> I looking for input on what vertical 900 omni to use. I have heard BR> statements from Marlon like "I'd never use a 2.4 omni over such and
BR> gain.....", because of the beamwidth and such. Anyway what are the
BR> opinions of the use of the 900 omni?

BR> Brian

Best regards,
Barry                            mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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