Roaming would be more closely compared with peering than wholesaling. The cell companies trade minutes back and forth each month, they don't "sell off" the customer.

Travis
Microserv

Mike Hammett wrote:
It's called roaming.  It happens with everyone but Nextel.


-----
Mike Hammett
Intelligent Computing Solutions
http://www.ics-il.com


----- Original Message ----- From: "Travis Johnson" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <wireless@wispa.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2007 11:38 AM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] WISP Peering


Marlon,

Your comment that I was "short sighted" because I don't turn potential customers over to my competition really hit a nerve. Sure we have made some mistakes along the way, but being called short sighted because I don't share networks and customers with competition is asinine.

You talk about the cell companies and the values they get when they sell, etc. but I can tell you that the cell companies aren't turning customers over to each other people they may have poor coverage in an area. :)

Travis
Microserv

Marlon K. Schafer wrote:
Travis, I think you've misunderstood me.

I'm not saying you don't have a good company. Clearly you do. I also think you're a bright guy.

There are likely two reasons for the size difference in out companies. The biggest would be market size. My whole COUNTY has 10,000 people in it. Probably less than that by now. The next county over probably has less than 50,000. I have DSL, cable, FTTH (basically GIVEN away by a PUD), and several other wisps as competition on this very rural area.

I started my business as a copier sales and service company in '95 with no inventory, no customers, a few tools an $3000 in the bank. It's fair to say that I didn't exactly have an easy time of it when starting out. I started the ISP in '97, not cause I thought it a good business, but because no one else would do it here. In '98 I started the homebrew DSL thing, and in '99 I started the wireless.

In 2001 when we switched from mostly office equipment work to only internet, we had a TON of debt. An ex service manager had spent a year setting up his own company and when he left me I lost 50%(!!!) of my revenue in 1 month. I'd just moved into a brand new big building etc. Had more space and a LOT more of a lease payment than I needed due to the reduced business.

Two... We've grown much slower than some, but I'm very much a man of my word. I've been careful NOT to put myself in a position of possible bankruptsy etc. We've been late sometimes but other than the lease on that building, I've never walked away from a single bill. Even when many I know have filed bankruptsy in far easier situations. Maybe that makes me a fool, but I'm a fool you know you can do honest business with.

3000 subs sounds great, till you think about companies with 30,000 or 300,000 subs. THAT's where *I* want to be. Actually, I want that $10,000,000 cash payment for my company. grin. Look again, at the original OWNERS of all of those cell phone companies that used to exist. Or the ones that had the cable companies etc. Why were those sales so valuable? I believe because of cooperation and standardization. Make it as cheap and easy to take over your operations as it can be.

BTW, 1% per year in growth? Plus a 10% drop in costs? That's nice. Our gross sales have increased by 15 to 16% per year for the last three years. We're still not advertising either. And this year, so far, we're running 96% ahead of last years growth. I may be in a very small market, but I'm a damned good operator!

laters,
marlon

----- Original Message ----- From: "Travis Johnson" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <wireless@wispa.org>
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 9:19 PM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] WISP Peering


Well, I seem to be holding my own ground pretty well... and I DON'T turn customers over to my competition... over 65 towers in operation, over 3,000 wireless subs, hundreds of DSL subs, almost 50 fiber subs (banks, hospitals, insurance, etc.)... and NO outside investors, stock holders, or any long-term debt whatsoever. :)

(OT: Our annual gross revenue has been within 1% of the previous year for the past 4 years. However, I have managed to decrease our expenses by 10% every year. While this doesn't seem like a lot, realize we are a multi-million dollar company. There is EASY money to be made by just cutting expenses. Things like shopping around for better CC rates, better insurance rates, cheaper bandwidth, etc.)

Also, if you leased your equipment, you could put the new tower up for less than $200 per month for EVERYTHING. ;)

<rant>
Call it what you will Marlon, but I believe you started your wireless operation around 1997 (going off your website). In 1997 we started our wireless service as well. Today we have over 3,000 connected wireless subs and are growing at over 100 per month. We have been profitable since our first year in business. This will be _another_ record breaking year for us. We have a backbone uptime of 99.99% over the last 2 years (including scheduled maintenance). Our wireless subs see a 99.9% uptime (including maintenance, interferance issues, blown AP's, etc). We deliver over 150Mbps of internet traffic during business hours using three diverse providers (DS3 via Qwest fiber, OC3 via seperate Qwest fiber, Level3 via fastethernet via seperate fiber via seperate NOC). We provide service to 8 entire school districts (out of a possible 10 in our entire 25,000 square mile coverage area).
</rant>

So, if I'm short sighted and you are not, why is my company 10x the size and making 10x the profit when both of us started at the same time?

Travis
Microserv

Marlon K. Schafer wrote:

----- Original Message ----- From: "Travis Johnson" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <wireless@wispa.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 8:16 PM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] WISP Peering


Why wouldn't you just put up your own AP's and service the same area rather than give that customer away to the competition?

Spectrum congestion.

Cashflow

Speed.

Expanded coverage, very quickly, for no money.


I would spend $5k and put up my own tower before I turn a "potential" customer away to the competition. I've done it many times over the years and it has always paid off. Once one person is connected, they tell their neighbors about it. Pretty soon an AP that was put up for a single customer has 10 or 20 customers on it.

Um, the competitors ALREADY have networks in place!!!!!


Doesn't seem to make business sense to me. Plus when they need tech support, how do you troubleshoot the competitors AP's? How do you do RF link tests and packet loss tests at 10:00PM when the customer is on the phone?

I call the competitor on his cell phone.  Just like he does with me.

Your attidude, while pretty typical, is very short sighted. The more we work together to keep the airways clean and maximize the investments, the better all of our networks run and the faster we can grow.

It's that silly ol' "Together we stand" thing.

I was watching a group of kids play Red Rover the other day. I had to wonder how that game would turn out if the kids all tried to stand there and hold their OWN ground instead of working as a team.


Travis
Microserv

Marlon K. Schafer (509) 982-2181 wrote:

----- Original Message ----- From: "George Rogato" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <wireless@wispa.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 6:42 PM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] WISP Peering


Marlon K. Schafer (509) 982-2181 wrote:
Two of my competitors just sat down for lunch and worked out a network sharing agreement. It's a handshake deal at this point though.

Basically we carved up a hilltop laying out coverage zones for each of us, and we set a price for using each other's ap's.

Marlon

Hey I think thats a good thing you've done there Marlon, getting along and even doing business with your competitors.

Yeah. It's something that the three of us have already been doing for a couple of years. We sell on each other's ap's at the same price. The only catch is that each of us has to live under the bw, and bit cap rules of the other guys network vs. our own. But that seems perfectly fair to me.

We also handle all tech support for the cusotmer. The customer should NEVER contact the other isp. We have however, shown up together at problematic customers and worked jointly to fix any issues.


But where do you think the line would be drawn in respect to anti competitive practices?

I'm not sure.  We've not had that come up yet.

Did you have a specific situation in mind?


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