The importance of a scalable network for growing WISPs

Scalable Wireless Network for Growing WISPS

The Importance of a Scalable Wireless Network for Growing WISPS

Many successful Wireless Internet Service Providers get started due to a lack of Internet service, or insufficient service by existing providers. During their initial phase, Internet Service Providers (ISPs are enthusiastic about setting up their networks but motivated by short-term goals. Typically dealing with budget constraints, they usually choose a basic wireless access technology.
Once the first few paying customers sign up, a natural desire to secure additional revenue growth kicks-in──this is expressed as scaling a wider network with more users ── and possibly some lucrative enterprise customers.


Fixed Wireless broadband network scale-up dreams stuck?
Can desires become reality? Average entrepreneurs might find themselves in a position where they are unable to scale their Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) networks to the level they envisioned due to his network’s inability to increase capacity or add more users.
This is the stage when SPs begin to look for a viable solution to scale up their wireless network and increase their footprint and revenue, while maintaining Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with marginal changes.


There are four main factors that affect wireless network scalability:


1. Capacity Scalability
The challenge:
A single wireless Access Point (AP) on an isolated tower might deliver the network capacity defined according to data sheet specifications. However, in many Point-to-MultiPoint solutions, deploying an additional AP on a tower causes mutual interference with the adjacent AP, resulting in capacity deterioration in both the uplink and downlink direction.
This phenomenon gets worse when more APs are deployed on the same tower, or on neighbouring towers: the more APs in a network, the less capacity is generated per AP. Increasing the space between the APs on a tower or expanding the frequency guard band between them slightly improves capacity but wastes valuable tower space, as well as spectrum for the guard band.


The desired solution:
The only way to avoid mutual interference is through TDD frame synchronization of all APs installed, via a GPS. This approach lets all APs in the network transmit and receive at the same time, to remove self-interference.


2. User Scalability
The challenge:
As the business grows, more users are typically added to a given sector. In many wireless access systems, the total capacity delivered from an AP tends to decline when more users are added to it.
An additional undesired phenomenon is latency growth, which is common in Wi-Fi based networks, as the Wi-Fi air protocol lacks a traffic manager at the AP level. Latency growth is also common in many other proprietary systems due to the AP’s weak processing power and air interface protocol inefficiencies. Whereas a data sheet may specify more than 100 users per AP, but what capacity is actually achieved in a real-time deployment?


The desired solution:
Service Providers should evaluate the AP’s capacity with multiple active subscriber units, rather than just one or two.


3. Service Scalability
The challenge:
Most SPs initially address the connectivity needs of households looking for basic internet access. The Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) in this market is usually low and requires a significant helpdesk operation.
Growing SPs may want to scale the market segments they address but also target lucrative segments such as SMEs or enterprises demanding a Committed Information Rate (CIR) to assure their SLA service level agreement.


The desired solution:
Service Providers should check that SLA services can be supported by the AP/base stations they plan to deploy.


4. Geographic Scalability
The challenge:
Successful SPs consider growing their business into new areas or markets. A scalable PtMP solution should enable the replication and easy adaptation of a similar type of operation or solution for different terrains and spectrum environments.
However, a suitable PtMP solution for rural deployments with little or no radio interference (when using 5GHz) may not deliver reliable connectivity in a suburban, congested spectrum. In addition, a PtMP solution that works well over short distances in local neighborhoods using line of sight might not be suitable for nLOS scenarios in wider suburban areas or long- distance, rural areas.


The desired solution:
SPs should be able to select the optimized AP/base station to address the variety of geographic deployment scenarios ─ from low-density deployment to suburban expansion, short to long-range coverage or highly congested spectrum.
Recommendation: Fast and reliable Fixed Wireless Access Solutions
RADWIN provides FWA solutions for Service Providers seeking scalable, fast, and reliable internet connectivity for residential and business customers. A variety of beamforming base stations, optimized per deployment scenario are offered to assure minimum TCO, allowing Service Providers to mix and match the right base station while using common Subscriber Units (SUs), combined with OSS tools.

For more information on how to scale your wireless networks, grow your ARPU, reduce churn, lower TCO, and deploy quickly and simply, contact

Skip to content