A Tough Call – A WISP Firing Customers?

By    October 12, 2015

One of the hardest things to do as a WISP is to contemplate “firing” a customer that’s willing to pay you for your service.  However, keeping them as a customer can be tough if the cost of getting them connected (and keeping them happy) exceeds what they’re willing to pay.

As an example, rural residences with heavy foliage (i.e. Non line of sight, NLOS) can be tough to connect with any wireless link that is even a moderate distance away from the Base Station.  If the standard cable or phone companies cannot (or are unwilling to) provide these homes with broadband service, the only option may be satellite service, which can be both costly and slow.  If you, as the wireless provider, are able to provide a link, you may worry about reliability, or more often about the throughput you can get to that customer.  In some cases, connecting a customer with sub-optimal service can be worse than not having them at all.

If you’ve used PMP 450, then you know about the great throughput and reliability it can provide, but connections will be tough in this type of environment.  Higher frequencies (such as 2.4, 3 or 5 GHz) get attenuated very quickly by obstructions, and links through foliage are near impossible. 

To solve this problem, Cambium Networks is excited to introduce the 900 MHz PMP 450i.  Many of our customers have been waiting a long time for this addition to the platform.  As you move lower in frequency, physics dictates that the signal propagates better, resulting in better ability to penetrate obstructions.  Using 900 MHz frequencies provides a great tool to achieve reliable (and potentially high throughput) links, where nothing else might work.

Cambium Networks continues to offer PMP 100 (FSK) 900 MHz products that do a great job achieving connection and serving these customers.  The issue with this solution is capacity.  At a sector level, you might only get around 4 Mbps.  We’ve designed the PMP 450i 900 MHz system to achieve 12-16 Mbps, under the same RF conditions as those that are often found in 900 MHz spectrum.  (That is, in high noise floor environments, as high a -65 dBm or worse).  Because it’s part of the 450 platform, rest assured that if clean spectrum is available, the 900 MHz version can achieve the same levels of throughput as those in other frequencies (up to 125 Mbps).

We’re looking forward to saving WISPs from having to fire any more of their customers!

Read about the product specifications, as well as the antenna options.