Wireless MattersWISP

Wireless Internet Service Provider Equipment: What To Buy Now Vs. Later

By May 18, 2020 No Comments

Your wireless Internet service provider equipment choices make or break your company’s customer retention. An excellent pricing package will attract new customers. However, if you want customers to stay with you for months and years to come, you have to deliver a reliable experience.

That’s where high-quality wireless equipment comes to play. With limited funds, how do you make smart choices about how much to invest right away vs later? We’ll guide you through that decision. Rather than blinding recommending an equipment budget, consider your goals and problems.

First, Do This: Know Your Wireless Problems and Goals

The equipment you purchase and install for your company must be in service of your goals and solve your problems. Your customers may be complaining about inconsistent service during storms. That’s a significant problem for wireless operators. In 2019, Verizon Wireless’s network went down for much of the eastern US. According to the New York Times, winter storms may have been the cause.

If the weather can cause problems like that for a national provider, it can certainly cause problems for a smaller company. Is your service area affected by storms regularly? Then perhaps you have to buy equipment that can be reliable when storms hit.

On the other hand, you might be facing a growth problem. New customers are signing up every week. There’s just one problem: They are not getting the Internet speeds they expected when they signed up. This could be caused by an excess demand on your network infrastructure.
Before making a wish list of new equipment, take 15 minutes to think through your company’s problems and goals. Don’t stop this exercise until you have identified at least three issues. Once you have that list created, you can move ahead

What Wireless Internet Service Provider Equipment To Buy Now

1) Expand your core network infrastructure

Equipment like the FW-300i is a critical building block to extend your service. For example, your wireless Internet service customers may have problems with natural barriers. Hills, bodies of water and other obstacles to line of sight reduce the reach of your wireless network. The number of FW-300i units you purchase depends on your network problems. As a starting point, check to see if you have received customer complaints and if more equipment could improve your service.

Tip: Check to see if a problem meets third party certification requirements. For example, Blinq Networks have passed the OnGo certification requirements.

blinq networks fw300i base station specification sheet brochure

Spec Sheet: The FW-300i

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2) Increase wireless equipment reliability

Accidents, storms and vandalism are two of the threats that can undermine your Internet service. Even if you have highly trained and well-equipped technicians, accidents are still a problem. Your wireless infrastructure may be attached to other buildings like water towers or advertising billboards. In the course of maintenance or changes, other people may come close to your equipment. To reduce damage from natural or human causes, use more equipment.
These equipment ideas will make your systems more resistant to disruption.

  • Surge Protection. Isolated, large objects have a high probability of being struck by lightning. For instance, the National Weather Service points out that the Empire State Building is hit by lightning over 20 times per year. Take a close look at whether your current lightning protection is adequate for your area.
  • Anti-Tampering Equipment. Unfortunately, some people attack cellular towers. In 2020, more than 20 cellular towers were vandalized with similar activity reported in the US and Canada. This measure is especially important if you have equipment cabinets accessible at ground level.

3) Back up power

Back up power systems are one of the easiest ways to maintain wireless Internet service. At first, start by installing backup power at your office. This equipment will make it easier to manage problems in the event of a failure. After that is completed, evaluate whether you can install backup power for your field equipment.
There is increasing pressure from governments to add backup power to communications. For example, the California government is considering mandating backup power for cell phone towers. If you add this capability to your wireless Internet service this year, you will be ahead of the curve.

4) Safety equipment for your staff

Staying safe when you work with sensitive wireless equipment is essential. That means giving your team industrial quality safety gear. Next, review the guidance on Communication Tower Best Practices issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (OSHA). For example, OSHA recommends prohibiting unsafe practices such as free climbing. If your maintenance crews need to work at height, you will need to provide additional equipment for them.
Finally, keep in mind that safety equipment gradually wears out from use. Make a note to review all of the equipment used by your maintenance staff every quarter and replace it if it is worn out.

What Wireless Internet Service Equipment To Buy Later

1) Install additional network capacity

As you sign up more and more subscribers, you will run out of capacity. Eventually, you will need to purchase more equipment to address this demand.
Figure out what you need to purchase (whether it’s more radio units or licenses) before maxing out your capacity so that you do not run the risk of a network failure for your customers.

2) Upgrade your wireless testing and monitoring equipment

Sometimes, your wireless equipment fails to perform because it has not been set up effectively. A regular testing schedule is one way to address this situation. You should also evaluate the sensitivity of your testing package. Your testing equipment should be able to detect interference and help you to troubleshoot problems.
Take note of these ideas to improve your monitoring and testing:

  • Security cameras. Use these cameras to monitor your towers and antennas for possible vandalism. Many business security cameras on the marketplace cost less than $500. To find out more about the latest security cameras for business, check out ZDNet’s best security cameras for business review.
  • Signal strength tools. Making the optimal placement for your wireless equipment isn’t easy. There’s where signal strength measuring tools can help. While you may already have signal testing tools in place, you can look into purchasing additional tools to make more precise and efficient measurements.

Investing Today For Future Paybacks In Your Business

To conserve cash, some companies only purchase equipment when they have a failure. If you take that approach to offering Internet service, your reputation for reliability may never recover and you might lose your customer base. Consider your problems and goals, and put it on your agenda (and budget) to install equipment that can help solve your problems or achieve your goals.

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