State of the WISP Industry

I was in Washington DC last week to visit with staff at the FCC and my congressional representatives.

Here are a few of the points that I made about fixed wireless:

1)  WISP technology in unlicensed spectrum can deliver up to 25meg to each customer in typical fixed wireless deployments.   I love to point out that I have a 25meg connection at my house, while the cable across the street only goes to 20.

2)  Mobile broadband is “toy broadband” that will never scale to the point of being as useful as fixed wireless or wireline networks

3)  Mobile broadband has far more issues with loading and problems with the physics of the connection than other types of networks and will degrade under load at a substantially higher factor than fixed wireless or wireline networks.

4)  WiMAX is a non-factor.   It has been made technically obsolete by advances in the open source based (Ubiquiti and others) and proprietary unlicensed platforms.   It has been financially obsolete due to its necessity of open, licensed spectrum (expensive) and typical costs of 2-5x unlicensed fixed wireless gear.

If we, as a country, decide that everyone needs to have broadband, then we should be pushing FIXED wireless networks and opening up spectrum in the 2ghz and 5ghz ranges that could take advantage of the low cost commodity chipsets that can operate in that range.   This would also create far more jobs and community benefit, as more installers and local support personnel are needed for fixed wireless as opposed to mobile wireless networks which only need sales droids and the skeleton crews for network maintenance.

Fiber is the end game, but fixed wireless is perfectly capable of standing in for several years while the business models for fiber deployments improve.

(more to come from my visit later)

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