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Business Prospects Of Wimax — An ISP point of View

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The prospects for WiMAX technology as a viable business opportunity are often the subject of debate amidst numerous actual or perceived challenges. Applying these innovative insights can make these arguments and challenges disappear.Unlike most people’s expectation of rural deployments, you might consider targeting SME’s in urban areas. There are several reasons for this:o There is a growing demand in business for bandwidth capable of carrying symmetrical traffic, for voice, applications and uploading of larger files.o There is a small but growing need for separated last mile services. Currently, however many wired service providers you have, they all use the incumbents’ last mile infrastructure based on its nearest telephone exchange location unless you have paid for an expensive dig from the next nearest exchange. This leads to single points of failure and the potential for business communications to be down for days, as can happen say with a cable duct fire somewhere in the spoke.Your worst case environment would be a very high-density urban area with lots of interfering buildings, has multiple fibre networks, ADSL and SDSL in every exchange, hundreds of competing suppliers, a restrictive property planning regime with many ‘listed’ buildings, and no spare spectrum for FWA except the public 5.8GHz band.To do this, because of the scale of competition from other service providers, your model needs to be disruptive. It has to offer things that businesses need (like QoS, toll-quality VoIP, high-quality video, symmetric bandwidth, higher capacities and network separation etc) at a lower cost.This means stripping all unnecessary cost out of the model. You’ll benefit from a quality RF planning tool that gives you a major advantage over other operators – mapping exactly where you can provide service, how to set up the customer antenna, what bandwidth can be achieved etc, based on your base-stations. You need to know exactly how to tune base-stations to avoid blackspots – without needing an RF team.Although Wi-Fi and WiMAX often get confused, they are very different from an operators perspective. Wi-Fi is plug and play with no control over the wireless interface. WiMAX is not, it behaves more like a carrier ATM network. Wi-Fi is built into laptops and handsets, whereas FWA WiMAX requires larger standalone receivers (yours should mount on customer rooftops for optimum utilty).The benefit is that WiMAX is very spectrally efficient, at least 50% more so than 3G networks, so it has much higher data-carrying capabilities in limited spectrum. All Wi-Fi shares the same public spectrum – WiMAX can work across a wide range. Wi-Fi provides service over a range of 100m, your WiMAX needs to provide 10Mbps over a range of 1.3km from a base-station non-line-of sight.WiMAX can create carrier-class networks, Wi-Fi cannot – not even with mesh networks. However, Wi-Fi with WiMAX backhaul gets some of the benefits of WiMAX as the backhaul such as VPN’s. A lot of WiMAX customer equipment will come with Wi-Fi built in.Don’t wait for mobile (802.16e) WiMAX – your experience with vendors may be that they’re around fourteen months to two years behind on their promised delivery dates, and further delays could occur to key requirements. Don’t expect good enough 802.16e equipment to build a network with until late 2007 at the earliest, and no usable CPE until 2008 – as it’s mobile battery life is crucial and that will take time to get right.There are big enough markets for FWA now. The most important thing is to grab the scarce resources first – spectrum etc – and make them yours. Except in those undeveloped countries without a mobile operator, mobile WiMAX will be very difficult to establish against incumbent operators with large installed bases because the areas covered are important to customers – which is not a consideration for FWA.

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Written by gordonoscar23

June 4, 2016 at 7:09 pm