WISP Teamwork to make signals better

This post is a huge shout out to Tasos Alexiou from RF Elements.  This story started out at WISPAPALOOZA Vegas this year.  I had a few clients who have been fighting noise issues. While working the Cambium booth we would go over the benefits of ePMP for noise mitigation.  This would naturally lead to an antenna discussion. You can’t have an antenna discussion without mentioning RF Elements and their horn design.  As with anything, clients are skeptical to things outside the conventional way of doing things.  It’s not that the client is closed minded, but change becomes a little harder when revenue and cash outlay are involved.  I am a very visual guy so I walked several of these clients over to the RF Elements booth so they could see the product and have it explained by the folks themselves.

These clients were getting it, but I could tell they were a little hesitant to make the leap.  This is where the teamwork of the story really comes into play.  Tasos could sense the same thing I was seeing, and came up with a plan.  In the shipment of their gear to Vegas, they had some extra gear.  After some negotiation, he told us to stop by after the show and he would see what he could do to get some gear in the hands of both of these clients.  After the show, I was able to send both of these clients home with some 30 and 45-degree horns.   Not only that, but these clients were able to talk about their specific situations, draw diagrams, and get a great understanding of how to get the best fit out of the equipment.

I am happy to say we have the first results from these horns.  Mohave Broadband was able to put up a 30-degree horn in an area where they were having clients with signal and interference issues. By adjusting their 90/120 sectors, which even have beamforming,  they were able to have the horn fit in their most troublesome area.  Some of the troubles were customers who could not connect on a certain frequency very well, but others could.  If the frequencies were changed the good customers became bad and vice versa.  Once the horn was in place we noticed a couple of things.

The first was customers in the 30-degree beam of the horn were able to connect at good signals and data rates. These were customers who were pointed right at the sectors before, not ones on the fringes.

Secondly, due to the nature of the horn we were able to select from more channels due to the lack of sidelobes from the horns.

Customer links on the AP.

We could go on and on how the ePMP 2000 APs with their noise filtering, and the “clean” pattern of the horn make the difference but that is not the focus of the article.  The focus is how many separate pieces of the WISP community came together to help.  From WISPA putting on the show to the willingness of Tasos and RF elements to help these customers, and the ability to sit down and draw out diagrams and antenna placement to get the best place to place antennas. For those of you who don’t attend tradeshows, this is one of the success stories with a few more to come on this blog.


MTIN Family of Sites
https://j2sw.com
https://indycolo.net
https://mtin.net
https://startawisp.info

WISPA Call To Action 5725-5850 band

From Rick Harnish

Purpose: Call To Action to support WISPA’s Petition for Reconsideration

Subject: FCC First Report and Order in the Matter of Revision of Part 15 of the Commission’s Rules to Permit Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII_ Devices in the 5 GHz Band (ET Docket No. 13-49)

ATTENTION: ALL WISPS THAT USE THE 5725-5850 MHz BAND

This email is a request to all WISPs and other entities that use the 5725-5850 MHz band.  On March 31st, the FCC adopted new rules for the 5 GHz bands.  While WISPA petitioned successfully to retain unlimited gain antennas, the FCC adopted more stringent out-of-band emission limits by eliminating Section 15.247 rules and placing all new equipment under Section 15.407.  Currently, most 5.725-5.850 MHz equipment operates under Section 15.247 rules. In two years, Section 15.247 equipment will no longer be legal to manufacture. Requiring all new equipment to be certified under Section 15.407  has SEVERE ramifications for the WISP Industry. Section 15.407 equipment will be much more expensive (will need expensive additional filters) and will operate on fewer channels (will have to stay away from the band edges). That’s why WISPA is putting out a CALL TO ACTION, to encourage all WISPs and others who use this band to file FCC comments supporting the Petitions of Reconsideration filed by WISPA, Cambium Networks, Mimosa Networks and JAB Wireless.  Below are links to the First Report and Order and all of the Petitions for Reconsideration. Please review the seven points that are listed below the links and choose the point (or points) that you feel are the most significant and that have the most impact your WISP operation. Discuss those points in your FCC Comments.

FCC First Report and Order in the Matter of Revision of Part 15 of the Commission’s Rules to Permit Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII_ Devices in the 5 GHz Band (ET Docket No. 13-49)

Wireless Internet Service Providers Association Petition for Reconsideration
Cambium Networks, LTD. Petition for Reconsideration
Mimosa Networks, Inc. Petition for Reconsideration
JAB Wireless, Inc.

On July 21st, Steve Coran, telecommunications counsel for WISPA and Rick Harnish, Executive Director of WISPA met with key staff people for Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, O’Reilly and Chairman Wheeler.  We stressed the importance of reconsidering this change in the rules.  We followed these meetings with a meeting with the staff of the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET).  We emphasized the following points:

1.      We thanked the Commission for preserving unlimited gain antennas in this band
2.      We explained how the new restrictions on out-of-band emissions (Section 15.407) would cause severe consequences for the WISP Industry and for many other industries, including Oil/Gas, School Systems, Aggregate Processors, Food Processors, County Governments and many more.
3.      We explained how many rural communities only source of Broadband is fed by this “Workhorse” band and would possibly go dark and/or service levels (capacity) would be compromised by the this change in rules, which would affect link distance, useable frequencies and capacity.

4.      We also explained how the new rules would cause manufacturers to add filtering to the radios, which would not only cost much more to produce, but would decrease the available spectrum from 125 MHz to 45 MHz due to a 40 MHz filter needed on both ends of the band.
5.      We explained that this decrease in useable spectrum would limit the ability for Wisps to use more than two sectors for Point to Multi-Point use and would cause a decrease in potential capacity to the consumers.
6.      We explained that the lower power/smaller antenna option to comply with the rules would cause some consumers to entirely lose their service due to distance limitations.  We also explained that consumers who have had service for many years, would not understand why they would either lose service or would now have to pay for a new installation (new more expensive radio) which would have less capacity and speed.
7.      We explained that many rural communities are fed by long distance PTP links in this band, which would not be possible with these new rules or would cause operators to have to build more towers at approximately $50,000 per tower, in order to retain service to these communities.  This would cause undue hardship on the operators and the consumers served by these links.  In some cases, the demographics of the communities would prevent the operator from investing in more towers and radios in order to retain service to these communities.

 We now encourage everyone to file comments supporting all of the above petitions for reconsideration.  The FCC and OET encouraged Steve and I to have operators file commentsexplaining the economic impact of these rule changes, examples of long distance links which would be impossible to make,given the rules changes, and other hardships the new rule will impose upon your business.  Please put your comments on your company letterhead.  Below are links to file your documents or comments.  You can read previous comments at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment_search/paginate?pageSize=100