Starting a WISP? Everything you need to know about last mile wireless connectivity

Starting a WISP? Everything you need to know about last mile wireless connectivity


What is Fixed Wireless Broadband?

In the simplest terms, fixed wireless provides an internet connection to a single point such as a house, office or school in order to surf the internet, access your cloud based Office 365 application, watch movies on Netflix or access any other internet-based application you can think of. Internet has become a necessity over the last decade, not only for businesses, but also for private use.


What does a Fixed Wireless Broadband network consist of?

There are 2 main components; Base Stations and Client Premises Equipment (CPE).

Base Stations are the equipment used to distribute the wireless from a single point, mostly located on a roof, water tower or lattice mast at a decent height in order to transmit signal over obstacles such as trees and buildings. Technology operating in the licence-exempt 5GHz band relies on Line of Sight (LoS) , meaning any dense obstacles in the way could have a negative impact on link quality.

Base Stations allow for transmission of wireless signals at a range of anywhere between a couple of hundred meters up to distances of around 20km+ depending on the base station equipment used and environmental factors such as interference.

On the receiving end, at the house or office we mentioned earlier, you will need a device called a CPE. This is in order to receive and transmit data wirelessly to and from the Base Station. These come in many shapes and sizes but the type and size of CPE mainly depends on the distance, signal strength and overall performance required. Technology pioneers like Ubiquiti Networks have revolutionized the industry with easy to mount, easy to configure and aesthetically pleasing, all-in-one devices which deliver seamless connectivity to the most rural as well as urban areas in the world. If you want to know more about which CPE’s are right for your network, please speak to our highly knowledgeable sales consultants.


Which products should you choose?

If you have been digging around for possible solutions, chances are that you have come across Ubiquiti Networks a number of times already. Ubiquiti has been the leader in Fixed Wireless Broadband hardware since people realized that the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz ISM bands and existing Wi-Fi technology could be utilized and optimized to run long range outdoor networks. Ubiquiti took the basic Wi-Fi technology and over the course of a decade or so fine-tuned hardware and software to maximize performance.

By improving hardware they opened the door to IP Video transmission over long distances (100km+ in some instances we’ve seen) eliminating the need for cable. By increasing packet rate they are able to carry voice over wireless and so much more. Not only was performance improved but they also kept the installer in mind and build hardware in a form factor that is quick to assemble, lightweight and easy to mount and align.


The latest, 2nd Generation Ubiquiti AirMAX products – or AirMAX Gen2 as it is more commonly known – now includes GPS Synchronization as well as PRISM filtering which allows for larger, more scalable networks able to serve up to 4 times the amount of customers, compared to previous generation technologies.

GPS Synchronization ensures that all sending and receiving of traffic to and from a centralized point (high site/tower) is timed or synchronized in such a manner that that there is no self-interference between your base stations, increasing reliability and total throughput of your wireless network.

The Rocket® Prism AC supports GPS Sync for faster, more scalable, carrier-class networks, with 90% higher throughout than competing solutions.

Over and above GPS Synchronization Ubiquiti also implemented airPRISM filtering in their Gen2 Rocket and PrismStation radios. This is a crucial technology required in high interference environments. airPRISM isolates signals within the operating channel to increase capacity and throughput in co-located environments, like your high site.


TDMA (Time Devision Multiple Access), or what Ubiquiti coined as AirMAX technology, is yet another way they improve and stabilize a wireless network allowing for many more simultaneous connections at improved throughput rates.

TDMA is a technology that assigns time-slots to all CPE devices connected allowing each a specific time to send and receive data to and from the base station. This means data flow is regulated in an orderly manner reducing latency and interference on networks.


GPS Synchronization and PRISM filtering are two technologies that greatly enhance the performance of outdoor fixed wireless broadband networks and combined with TDMA (AirMAX) you will always have the edge on wireless networking with little to no maintenance required.

For more information on this or advice on hardware options, speak to our sales team who can assist in planning your perfect fixed wireless network.

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