Nokia LTE photos in a test environment.
This “enclosure” was my first attempt at being a Wireless ISP with no budget. The problem I was trying to solve was putting a waverider Subscriber module on top of a 150 grain leg. The Waverider unit was designed for indoor use. You would mount the unit indoors and then run hardline out to your antenna. In our use case, the 160 foot run of hardline would have caused too much loss.
So before you is the solution. We put an APC battery backup, netgear dumb switch, and a few POEs inside a cooler. A hole was then drilled in the side to pass ethernet and power cables through. This hole was then foamed and further sealed with silicone. This lasted for many years.
The following is an estimate of loss using LTE frequencies and common building materials.
-6″ Concrete 12-20 dB
The following are leasing companies that I have worked with on securing vertical real-estate over the years. This is not a total list of tower companies. If you provide co-location services to Wireless ISPs and want to be included please reach out to me. Donations motivate me to update these lists. Ones with a Star next to them are WISP friendly from our dealings.
I have been working on this list for a while. The following are vendors, manufacturers, and various companies I have dealt with in my career as an ISP owner and consultant. This is not a complete list by any means. These are companies I have dealt with personally and/or are sponsors of this site. Companies with the are ones that support this blog and I personally recommend. I don’t recommend them just because they support this blog, but because they provide a good product or service. If you would like to be included on this list please contact me as I am working on more detailed lists per category. This is a starting point for those looking to narrow down some focus of their research.
Texas-based distributor carrying a big number of product lines such as Cambium, Mikrotik, Airspan, and many others
Chicagoland based distributor carrying product lines such as Mikrotik, Cambium, and others.
Distributor of fixed wireless and telecommunications infrastructure for Internet Service Providers (ISP’s), Cable Operators, Telephone Companies
Mature billing solution which can
manage all aspects of your ISP.
Modern Billing software with many backend automation
Automation and control of your WISP customers
More Billing providers can be found at xISP billing platforms
LTE and CBRS based solutions
Manufacturer of fixed wireless products such as EMP, 450, and cnPilot wireless.
Manufacturer of Mikrotik routers and RouterOS routing and switching products
Manufacturer of WISP and WIFI products. Product lines include AirFiber and Unifi.
Training and equipment to keep climbers and companies compliant and safe. Large selection of needed items such as Harnesses and rope related items for tower work.
True IP Solutions
Unified communications solutions integrated
with access and camera solutions.
mikrotik training and certification as well
as consulting and integrations solutions
Training on Mikrotik and distributor of related products
More info on training for the xISP
RF Mapping and Modeling for tower sites and customer pre-qualification
Radio Mapping, two-way radio, mark study information, and Municipal broadband.
Microwave and Millimeter Wavechannel procurement.
Organizations, web-sites, and groups
Trade Organization supporting Wireless Internet Service Providers=
Networking, ISP, and related topics
Did I forget you? Would you like to sponsor this blog and your name listed? Contact me for more information.
Amazon has announced a new feature called Sidewalk.
When enabled, Sidewalk uses a small portion of your Internet bandwidth to provide these services to you and your neighbors. This setting will apply to all of your supported Echo and Ring devices that are linked to your Amazon account.
In essence, what this does is it uses Bluetooth running in the 900MHZ band to form an adjacency with neighbors and other Sidewalk enabled devices. In the old CB terms, we might call this a sideband connection. Amazon is using a portion of a sidewalk enabled device to create a shared network in your community. Some of the examples they use are for locating lost pets with a sensor tied to their collar. As the pet passes your neighbor’s sidewalk enabled hub you will see that on a map. Another example might be a sensor that can’t see your wifi network but might see the neighbors.
You can read more at the link below, but here is the quick and dirty from their FAQ.
How does Amazon Sidewalk work?
Customers with a Sidewalk Bridge (today, many Echo devices, Ring Floodlight Cams and Ring Spotlight Cams) can contribute a small portion of their internet bandwidth, which is pooled together to create a shared network that benefits all Sidewalk-enabled devices in a community. Amazon Sidewalk uses Bluetooth, the 900 MHz spectrum and other frequencies to extend coverage and provide these benefits.
What does Amazon charge for use of the network?
Amazon does not charge any fees to join Amazon Sidewalk, which uses a small portion of bandwidth from a Sidewalk Bridge’s existing internet service. Standard data rates from internet providers may apply.
How will Amazon Sidewalk impact my personal wireless bandwidth and data usage?
The maximum bandwidth of a Sidewalk Bridge to the Sidewalk server is 80Kbps, which is about 1/40th of the bandwidth used to stream a typical high definition video. Today, when you share your Bridge’s connection with Sidewalk, total monthly data used by Sidewalk, per account, is capped at 500MB, which is equivalent to streaming about 10 minutes of high definition video.
Will I know what other Sidewalk-enabled devices are connected to my Bridge?
Preserving customer privacy and security is foundational to how we’ve built Amazon Sidewalk. Information transferred over Sidewalk Bridges is encrypted and Bridge customers are not able to see that Sidewalk-enabled devices are connected to their Bridge. Customers who own Sidewalk-enabled devices will know they are connected to Sidewalk but will not be able to identify which Bridge they are connected to. For more information, visit our whitepaper here.
Before Covid I tried to attend as many meetings community leaders and towns had about bringing broadband to their communities. This is what you are supposed to in order to let the leaders know you, or in my case, my clients are there, right? Sometimes I would attend to provide my input as part of giving back to a community.
I have found some similarities in these meetings and workshops. Let’s go over them. If you are a community leader don’t let yourself fall into some of these.
The High-Level view
The high-level view starts out with noble intentions. The leaders want to get broadband to underserved areas. They have not bothered to dig deeper into seeing what is actually in the areas they want to cover. These folks may have called the ISP they have or someone their family has. they don’t actually know which providers service what areas. In their defense it’s not their job to. What they do with these meetings determines if progress is made or not. I have been in meetings where there have been four providers that service the area in question. The leaders say they must do more studies to see who is in the area. You literally have four sitting at your table who can tell you what they service. Take their information, take their maps and progress.
Bedazzled by the incumbent
Typically this person has XYZ Internet at their home and they love it. They love it so much they want it everywhere. This is great, but there are reasons that XYZ Internet is not everywhere. Otherwise, you would not be doing these meetings. Some of this is due to lack of money. Either XYZ Internet does not have enough or the return just is not there. This leader is one of the most hampering of all. I have been in many meetings where the small local company is putting their own money into investing in the community and this type of leader overlooks the small company. They even go as far to suggest the local company help XYZ become bigger in their own service area.
These leaders often invite their beau to these meetings to give their take on broadband in the area. Sometimes these companies are honest and straightforward. Sometimes they paint the picture they are the only ones who can solve the broadband issue.
The “let’s do a study” crowd
Studies are nice. They give you nice graphs, charts, and tons of fluff information about an area. It makes for good reading for those who like to learn about facts. These folks are probably the ones who know the stats of many sports figures, who lived in the prominent houses in the lcoal towns and other facts. They are willing to spend twenty thousand dollars on a piece of paper to get this information. In many instances, sitting down with the right group of people could tell you 90% of the information you need.
Let’s face it, not everyone knows everything about the topic they are trying to address. Being able to provide gigabit to every home is a nice goal, but is hard to achieve. Not everyone needs or wants gigabit. In my county and the surrounding area, there are towns of only three or four houses. Unless lots of government money is involved fiber will not be coming to them anytime soon.
These are usually the most frustrating for the existing ISP. Terms like focus groups and thirty thousand foot view are thrown around. They are usually applying for some grants or RPF. They already have their goal and possibly the outcome in mind. They are not there to solve issues but to get the “bigger picture”. They may only know broadband from buzzwords. 5G and internet of everything are thrown around alot.
What folks do you see at these meetings? Let me know as we are working on a funny video.
Some photos from a Siklu 80GHZ deployment in Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. This was deployed by On-Ramp Indiana (https://www.ori.net). The problem being solved is moving video files around a network in order to get it to smart screens and projectors. This is a very urban area and wireless was pretty much the only option to get from building to building.
Siklu 80GHZ was on the shortlist due to the distances involved. Another consideration was the footprint of the equipment. The equipment had to be as low profile as possible.
Another needed aspect of this network was the ability to move traffic around at layer 2. Not all traffic is IP based in this type of network.
Ether Haul 1200FX
Some technical Details
As you can see traffic is reasonably consistent in the 80-100 meg range. We needed a solution that did not slow down due to interference. A possible 10’s of thousands of visitors to this attraction in a weekend, reliability and performance were critical. When this was installed we did not know about COVID, but this is an attraction people can enjoy from their cars and social distancing. This use added to the visibility of this attraction, thus making the reliability even more crucial.
Articles about the finished product