WHITE PAPERRELIABILITYOR RISKFOR MANY GROWTH-ORIENTED WIRELESS ISPs (WISPs),CUSTOMER SATISFACTION MAY BE AT RISK BY USINGLOW COST EQUIPMENT.
Whether you’re a regional WISP with thousands of customers or a local provider with dozens, you face many of the same business challenges. In pursuit of a sustainable business model, three factors have significant impact on your profitability: equipment cost, operating expense and churn. The cost of recruiting and replacing lost customers hinders investment and throttles growth. Whether you serve high-density urban or low-density rural areas, customer satisfaction is always crucial.GIVING CUSTOMERSWHAT THEY WANT ABOUT CAMBIUM NETWORKSCustomer satisfaction is critical to any size service provider. Says Ben Strahan, director of operations at Agave Cambium Networks,Your customers want low-cost connectivity. They want high Broadband, “Superior equipment is the way to provide formerly part of Motorolaperformance so they can use innovative new bandwidth- superior customer satisfaction. We need equipment Solutions, is anintensive applications on their powerful new devices. They that performs under high user demand and extreme independent companywant superior reliability so you need to eliminate outages temperatures. Equipment failures and repair dispatches providing world-classand maximize uptime. The question is: How do you balance need to be minimized to control operations costs.” wireless broadband andyour need to enhance customer satisfaction with your need microwave solutionsto keep costs down and profitability up? WIRELESS OPTIONS for military, government, municipal and enterprise Wireless point-to-multipoint (PMP) networks, like the customers around theThe key is having the right equipment. No matter how large Cambium PMP 430 series, have proven themselves to be world. Cambium Networksor small your business, equipment price and maintenance successful around the world. But as providers strive to keep currently has more thancosts are going to constitute a large part of your expenses. costs down, some are considering equipment that offers a 3.2 million productsAll wireless broadband equipment is not created equal. lower entry cost. In certain circumstances, this equipment deployed and providesChoose a solution that will work reliably from the start and may be a viable solution. But lower priced equipment can reliable, secure, cost-will be well supported in the future. also lead to compromises in service and reliability that may effective connectivity in thousands of networks actually lead to lower satisfaction and increased churn as in over 150 countries. you grow the subscriber base.SOLUTION PAPER RELIABILITY OR RISK 2
COMPARING TECHNOLOGIESFor a great many WISPs, choice of equipment is one of the biggestfactors in whether or not they achieve success and sustainability.So how do PMP networks differ from lower priced infrastructureequipment in how they help you build customer satisfaction andloyalty? In and of itself, the lower price may be enough to beconsidered by providers just starting out or looking to expand ina low-density area. The real issue is, will those initial savings beenough to compensate for lower performance, reduced reliabilityand customers who are consistently dissatisfied with your qualityof service? In general, lower cost infrastructure cannot matchCambium PMP networks in a number of critical aspects.THROUGHPUT PERFORMANCERegardless of the application, customers want throughputthat will carry voice and video payload reliably bothupstream and downstream. In terms of throughput, it’s LOWER COSTimportant to distinguish between theoretical and real- INFRASTRUCTUREworld figures. Cambium Networks develops excellent802.11-based products. We have specific experience with CANNOT MATCHthis technology and also the unique needs of WISPs who CAMBIUM PMPare building long-range distribution and access networks NETWORKS INfor business and residential subscribers. When comparing A NUMBERto PMP solutions, other 802.11 vendors claim maximum OF CRITICALthroughputs based on 40 MHz channels and in ideal ASPECTSconditions that are not likely for a typical WISP. In fact,it is easier to find 10 MHz or 20 MHz of available spectrum.Service providers need to consider the amount of availablespectrum, and provide the most throughput possible inthat spectrum. SYNCHRONIZED PERFORMANCEIn addition, PMP systems normally do not have the The difference in performance is partially based on the factinterference issues of 802.11 technology, even when 40 that most low cost 802.11-based networks are contention-MHz channels are available. Many 802.11-based networks based systems while PMP networks are synchronized withhave no external filtering, making them vulnerable to Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities.interference on adjacent channels and from out of band. The PMP network’s highly optimized scheduled TDD THROUGHPUT MAC layer supports GPS synchronization, minimizing self-interference and providing efficient frequency reuse. Others PMP With consistent latency of just 5 to 7 milliseconds evenPublished throughput rate is based on useable NO YES in fully loaded conditions, PMP networks provide thethroughput for applications and does not countsignaling “overhead” data experience your subscribers need and expect for optimal performance even for networks under high load. On the other hand, 802.11-based networks operate on a contention scheme and often have problems with providing consistentSOLUTION PAPER RELIABILITY OR RISK 3
low latency. Due to its scheduled MAC and implementation RF RELIABILITY BY DESIGNof Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities, the PMP 430 Outdoor systems operate in a noisy environment that willensures that high priority, latency sensitive traffic is become more congested. Unlike 802.11-based systems,delivered consistently. Conversely, you can’t rely on PMP solutions optimize interference tolerance and offerconsistent latency performance from lower-cost, improved performance in noisy environments. Externalcontention-based 802.11 systems — particularly in filtering isolates the system from interference on adjacentover-loaded conditions. Customers expect high performance channels and from out of band sources. Efficient filteringat all times, not just in the middle of the night when no PMP SOLUTIONS further minimizes self-interference and maximizes theone else is using the network. OPTIMIZE useable channels in available frequency bands. INTERFERENCE SYNCHRONIZATION SPECIFICS Other systems attempt to provide noise isolation by TOLERANCE AND Others PMP providing fewer channels and using the bandwidth to move OFFER IMPROVED away from noise. This restricts the number of channels PERFORMANCEOne GPS antenna is leveraged across all access NO YESpoints (APs) at one site available and constrains total system bandwidth. IN NOISY ENVIRONMENTSSynchronization across sites does not require NO YES In addition, PMP solutions are certified to use the 5.2 GHznetwork connectivity and 5.4 GHz frequency bands that require governmentSynchronization is an integral part of the NO YES certified Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) capabilities.Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) Not all manufacturers provide this capability. Thishardware design technology, in effect, makes an additional 350 MHz ofGPS antenna mount location is flexible to allow NO YES spectrum available for service providers to use.for simple installationGPS antenna is securely mounted for operation in NO YES HARDWARE DESIGN SPECIFICSharsh environments Others PMP Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of NO YES 40 years proven in field use Power supplies are rated for outdoor use NO YES Designed for full outdoor temperature range NO YES (-40C to +55C) Robust RF noise filtering NO YES SOFTWARE DESIGN SPECIFICS Others PMP Flexible cyclic prefix for fewer dropped packets NO YES in multi-path outdoor environment Selectable broadcast repeat count for more NO YES reliable message delivery Robust RF noise filtering NO YES DFS implementation that minimizes NO YES false detectionsSOLUTION PAPER RELIABILITY OR RISK 4
SECURITY One bad security incident can ruin a service provider’s reputation. Customers are likely to consider turning away from a service provider after a bad security experience. With the sensitive information being shared by businesses and residential users, they want to trust that the information that they share is protected from intruders. Cambium understands this and has designed its PMP equipment to protect you and your customers. SECURITY DESIGN SPECIFICS Others PMP SNMPv2 compliant for more secure transactions NO YES SNMP v3 is committed for development NO YES Three levels of user-access security for NO YESNETWORK PERFORMANCE greater network controlAND OPTIMIZATION Both proprietary and standards-based NO YESIntegrating the technology into the network is an important SM authentication safeguards to fully managephase of growth. By optimizing the equipment performance network accessto support workflows and information processing, PMP “Color Code” software control prevents NO YESsolutions remove cost from operations. SM association with unintended APs BY OPTIMIZING Greater control over network administration: NO YES EQUIPMENT • Two community strings NETWORK PERFORMANCE DESIGN SPECIFICS • Multiple password features PERFORMANCE Others PMP TO SUPPORT WORKFLOWS ANDNetwork monitoring features include proactive NO YEStrouble-shooting features: INFORMATION ADVANCED FEATURES• Registered Subscriber Module (SM) count PROCESSING,• Network Time Protocol (NTP) time update, etc. Others PMP PMP SOLUTIONSPre-configured “Quick Start” system settings for NO YES Advanced Virtual Local Area Networks (VLAN’s) NO YES REMOVEfast deployment to manage private enterprise traffic COST FROM QoS settings prioritize voice traffic and NO YES OPERATIONS minimize latency Configuration parameters protect networks from NO YES rogue DHCP servers Broadcast Downlink Committed Information Rate NO YES (CIR) to selectively prioritize broadcast traffic Traffic is kept local at AP tower, reducing risk NO YES against server failure Remote spectrum analyzer for fast deployment NO YESSOLUTION PAPER RELIABILITY OR RISK 5
SERVICE IMPACTHIGHER QUALITY OF SERVICE centrally scheduled by the access point. The result is PMP networks consistently provide higher quality of serviceThe days of customers tolerating slow downloads and experiences than contention-based 802.11 systems.too many outages are long gone. If the download icon isspinning, chances are users are thinking about finding aprovider with faster service. To keep your customers loyal, RELIABILITY REDUCES OPEXyou’ve got to give them quality of service that works with Once a network is deployed, reliability is crucial. Subscribersbandwidth-hungry applications. You need to give them will not tolerate downtime. With more than three millionhigh-speed connectivity, fast data services, streaming modules deployed, PMP networks have proven to bevideo, and more on a wide variety of devices. Business exceptionally reliable performers worldwide. The Cambiumcustomers want all that and more including prioritized Networks PMP 430 offers an MTBF rate of greater thanVoice over IP (VoIP) voice traffic, VLANs for private 40 years. But low cost equipment networks can beenterprise traffic, video surveillance, E1/T1 replacement, considerably less reliable — both in hardware and inand redundancy. In PMP networks, each Customer message delivery — reducing customer satisfaction whilePremise Equipment (CPE) can have multiple service flow increasing operational costs.connections with different QoS classes, and all data is THE TRUE COST OF AN OUTAGE Outages happen. Preventable outages are the WISP’s worst nightmare. A single outage can affect customer perception, and that can seriously affect TOWER CLIMB business. When service is compromised, subscriber loyalty is tested, and as the cost of switching • 3 technicians per climb providers is also low, increased churn is a reality. • Average 2 hours each AS COSTS Outages can also lead to unacceptably high • $85 per manhour INCREASE maintenance and operations costs. • $510 total The cost of a typical installation — or swapping out — involving a tower climb can be significant. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration TRAVEL (OSHA) requires three technicians per climb. • Truck costs of $170 per day Consider that an average climb is about two hours each at approximately $85 per manhour, making • Cost can jump to $100 per manhour the cost of a routine tower climb about $510 total. You can pay about $100 per dispatch for labor • $330 travel premium for a 3-person crew and a vehicle. That’s over $2,400 for an eight-hour, four-person dispatch day, and that’s significant. PROFITS DISPATCH It all adds up. DECREASE • $100 per dispatch Ultimately, a single outage can wipe out the savings from purchasing lower-priced equipment.SOLUTION PAPER RELIABILITY OR RISK 6
The inability of most low cost equipment to withstand the THE INABILITYrigors of outdoor use leads inevitably to more outages, OF MOST LOWincreases in trouble calls and dispatches. Reliable PMP COST EQUIPMENTequipment also leads to reductions in training costs and TO WITHSTANDallows staff to concentrate on new installs and growing the THE RIGORSnetwork instead of fixing it. OF OUTDOORInformation on best practices for PMP networks is readily USE LEADSavailable, and assistance is easy to access. Cambium INEVITABLY TOproduces detailed technical documentation, provides MORE OUTAGES,telephone support, sponsors community forums, has full INCREASES INtime technical specialists, and offers training courses. TROUBLE CALLSThis information, supported by a supportive PMP user AND DISPATCHEScommunity with three million modules deployed andyears of field experience, makes it easy to understandthe technology and deploy it right the first time.Reliable service increases customer satisfaction, helping to NEW LOW DENSITY PMP OPTIONSincrease up-selling to higher levels of service, and driving Among the service providers most interested in lower costpositive word of mouth that is the provider’s single most network equipment are those with low-density networks inimportant marketing factor. rural areas. If you want to provide local coverage to dozens or scores of subscribers rather than hundreds, you may atJAB Wireless, a service provider in the seven-state area first see low cost equipment as your only option. Cambium’sof Utah, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Idaho and new AP 105 access point is making PMP performance andIllinois, relies heavily on Cambium PMP 430 and other reliability more affordable for low-density and networkequipment. Says Dean Lundberg, JAB vice president of edge applications. The AP 105 offers full data throughputoperations, “[PMP] technology allows us to achieve the of 14 Mbps, can serve up to 10 subscriber modules andkind of innovation and stability that lets us compete and offers a substantially lower price point than full capacitysucceed in the changing wireless environment. It helps equipment — at about one-third of the price of a PMP 100us capture new customers and serve existing ones as series access point. As you grow, it also offers the abilitytheir demands grow. We now have tens of thousands of to upgrade to the full 200-subscriber module capacitysubscribers to show for it.” In addition, when you have a through a simple software key… and with no cost penalty.homogenous network across your entire subscriber base, This solution provides a low entry cost while providing thethere is less training cost and fewer SKUs to keep in stock opportunity to have a consistent network as your servicefor maintenance and repair. area grows. UNIVERSAL GPS You can add low-cost GPS synchronization for one or two AP modules with the new small site network-compatible Universal GPS (UGPS). These new units provide synchronization that enhances performance and decreases core network interference, and are compatible with all Cambium Networks PMP radios.SOLUTION PAPER RELIABILITY OR RISK 7