Another WISPAPALOOZA has come and gone to Las Vegas. If you are not familiar with WISPAPALOOZA it is one of the two major trade shows Wispa puts on each year. The Las Vegas show is the larger of the two. If you are a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), doing outdoor wireless networks, or involved in the WISP industry whatsoever this is the premier event for you.
Having attended several shows I have been able to see the evolution of the shows over the past X years. The industry has been evolving and this show highlights many of the evolutions the industry is undergoing. This year billing, LTE, and business services needed by WISPs were prominent in the sessions and on the vendor floors. Vendors such as Baicells, Cambium, Redline, and others were talking about their LTE offerings.
Other vendors such as Ritalia funding and Unitel were there getting their message out to WISPs. As WISPs evolve, they are looking for services and products which help the business side of things. This business side becomes as important in a mature WISP as the technical side is.
Another aspect WISPs look for as they grow are billing platforms. Companies such as Sonar, Azotel, and VISP were represented at the Vegas show. These can help your WISP streamline and automate operations. The more you can stretch your resources the better.
Other themes of the show included fiber deployments, MDUs, and CBRS to name just a few. Knowledge exchange is a key highlight of shows such as this. Operato
rs sitting around trading tips, war stories, and what is working and not working for them is invaluable. The selection of the speakers and sessions highlight the pulse WISPA has on the industry as a whole.
Due to the varied mix of people in this WISP industry shows such as this are great for any level of employee. Any employee will be able to find things they can be engaged with and hopefully add to their knowledge. As with any industry, making personal connections and people networking is huge these events. Being able to have a Rolodex of Vendors, distributors, consultants, and other folks in the industry are invaluable. Whether you forge relationships over a beer at the local bar, a walk down the strip, or just sitting at a table talking these conversations are something you can’t get anywhere else.
My week started with a 5 am arrival at the airport. I was able to catch up with a friend in the industry over a coke at breakfast in the airport. Even though he lives an hour south of me we don’t get together all that much. He is a friend and someone who is doing cool stuff in the industry. The ability to have that focused time is something many of us don’t get. We are so busy with our own lives we have to get into situations like that. After landing in Vegas the intensity level ramps up. You start seeing people you know and quick conversations turn into 20-minute conversations, and the next thing you know its 6 pm and you are just checking into your room. The next several days are more of the same. Late nights, lots of conversations, lots of walking, and an overwhelming amount of information you will only begin to digest once you have a moment to relax. In the end it is a good kind of tired.
For more information and a show re-cap visit http://thebrotherswisp.com/ for a cast coming soon on a re-cap of some of the brothers discussing the show.