Hardware for running WiFi internet service.

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savvy

savvy

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Dear friends, please help me out.
There are many small cities in India where fast internet is not available. The only service that is available in those cities is that of BSNL.
I would like to start a franchisee of any private ISP like Spectranet, Sify, Hathway etc in one or two such cities. And due to high risks and costs of cables, I would like to offer the internet through WiFi, exactly like how local cable operators provide in metro cities.
Please tell me what are the hardwares that are required to provide long range (around 5 km radius) wifi coverage. And please tell me what is cost of getting the franchisee from private ISPs.
 
x720

x720

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LCOs do use cable infra, and a lot at that.
 
savvy

savvy

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LCOs use cable but they also provide the service through WiFi.
I've seen some cable operators complain about cable sabotage and theft in my colony in South Delhi. That's why I'm looking for WiFi options.
I heard that there are some WiFi antennas like Ubiquity Rocket M2 etc. But I don't know the complete setup for offering the commercial grade service.
And please tell me what are the costs for getting the franchisee from the private ISPs.
 
x720

x720

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Unfortunately, the one member who could potentially answer your queries, isn't active on the forum these days. Moreover, in order to get bandwidth from tata, reliance, sify etc, you'd have to first get them to the town you're talking about.
 
savvy

savvy

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I could not find the information regarding city-wide wifi setup on Google.
The market for WiFi internet looks very lucrative because of high data prices in 3G services and unreliable internet provided by BSNL in small cities.
Net savvy people might like to use 1-2 mbps unlimited internet for a decent sum of around Rs 1000.
 
savvy

savvy

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Aren't there any LCO in our forum? If there is, he can tell me about the setup of WiFi services because I won't be competing with them in their territories (metro cities).
 


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AgentX

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I'm currently signed up with a similar WiFi provider, and they've partnered up with Reliance to offer the services. I chose to go the dedicated way by choosing my own equipment (over 5Ghz) for a point to point link instead of a shared WiFi setup. The setup is done using 2x Ubiquiti Nanostation M5's.
On the ISP's end, they utilize pure Ubiquiti equipment on the towers (around 4/5 - Powerstations with dedicated separate antennas and TP-Link consumer grade modules on customer sites (operated on 2.4Ghz).
On the server side, I believe they utilize microtik routers with Unify connectivity (for login/portal access/etc). For backhaul, since there isn't any fiber/ethernet connectivity for their tower, they have a point to point link with a Reliance tower nearby.
Unfortunately, I do not know the exact amount of bandwidth they buy and at what rates. However, I was offered 2mbps for 7k(+tax) for level 2 bandwidth (or 1:2 something) and for a pure 1:1 connection, I was quoted 12k(+tax) from Reliance directly for a leased connection.
 
savvy

savvy

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Spectranet
abidh1992 said:
I'm currently signed up with a similar WiFi provider, and they've partnered up with Reliance to offer the services. I chose to go the dedicated way by choosing my own equipment (over 5Ghz) for a point to point link instead of a shared WiFi setup. The setup is done using 2x Ubiquiti Nanostation M5's.
On the ISP's end, they utilize pure Ubiquiti equipment on the towers (around 4/5 - Powerstations with dedicated separate antennas and TP-Link consumer grade modules on customer sites (operated on 2.4Ghz).
On the server side, I believe they utilize microtik routers with Unify connectivity (for login/portal access/etc). For backhaul, since there isn't any fiber/ethernet connectivity for their tower, they have a point to point link with a Reliance tower nearby.
Unfortunately, I do not know the exact amount of bandwidth they buy and at what rates. However, I was offered 2mbps for 7k(+tax) for level 2 bandwidth (or 1:2 something) and for a pure 1:1 connection, I was quoted 12k(+tax) from Reliance directly for a leased connection.
That's a great information abidh1992. I would research some more on the leads you have given on the wifi infrastructure.
Thanks again!!
 
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AgentX

The Secret Agent
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Airtel / BSNL
I've PM'd you a provider who would likely be able to work with you to offer services under a franchisee model; however, I'm not sure if they have any presence in Delhi.
Furthermore, if you actually want to buy bandwidth in bulk (i.e, leased connections) then any provider who has a tower nearby your area would love to work with you. You can obtain a ptp link from them (although I'd bargain for fiber backhaul) - but, keep in mind that the costs will be very high.
As mentioned in my previous post, Reliance offered a 2mbps 1:2 connection for 7K and 1:1 connection at 12K. All of this was only via a ptp link and not through fiber. I was initially going for a TATA leased fiber (their tower is 200 meters from my location) but their pricing (1mbps 1:1 at 10k) was way too much and they too refused for a fiber backhaul.
If you have any questions on the connectivity/equipment; feel free to let me know =)
 
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mgcarley

Founder, Hayai Broadband
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My 2c:
1. Don't offer unlimited.
2. Keep in mind that bandwidth splitting on wireless gear isn't linear, it's very nearly exponential - once you get to about 20 subs on a single station, you're at about it's limit, even if each sub is only getting 1mbit/s, and if people are downloading torrents, you'll find the device will either 1. crash or 2. reset itself (if it's configured properly).
3. Also keep in mind the amount of noise around - if you use 2.4GHz gear (as most providers do) you're going to have massive problems keeping a stable link over a long distance. If you use 5GHz gear it'll work much better (until 5GHz becomes "the norm" in a couple of years now that some of the 802.11ac draft equipment is out) but you'll have to factor in the cost of giving everyone a receiver (about Rs3-4k each).
4. Getting the bandwidth to some of these smaller cities - you're going to be paying by the KM in addition to the wholesale bandwidth rates. The networks of Tata, Reliance, Sify, BSNL etc do penetrate the country quite well but the price of bandwidth is likely to vary slightly by city - the price in Delhi will be different to the price in Mumbai which will be different again to the price in Gwalior or any given panchyat.
5. Abidh1992's rate isn't for reselling (AFAIK it's an end-user price, correct me if I'm wrong) but it also pays to know that the more you buy, the more you save. They may be charging him Rs7k for 2mbit/s but it can be got *a lot* cheaper if you buy more and/or if you agree to a certain term (at least a year) - you'd probably pay 50% of that rate, maybe even less. Or if you go for the franchisee model, chances are you'll have to pay some deposit to the ISP and then you'll share revenue on a per-customer basis - on the plus side, it will save you from the billing headaches (but not the collection headaches), on the minus side as a WISP you'll get a very small portion of that revenue.
6. Ubiquiti is one option, but there are many. Shop around. Ubiquiti is pretty good value for money though - on the whole, I like it.
7. Security. It's important.
8. Technical competence. If you aren't, make sure you have someone on your team who is and who knows about wireless: she is a finnicky bitch and often a great source of pain to the unknowing and unprepared.
9. The market looks lucrative, but I might suggest you check out the financial situation of ISPs like Tikona and Spectranet (both are big on wireless in south Delhi AFAIK) before you dive in.
10. Think about quality. I implore you. It's all good and well to want to offer 2mbit/s unlimited for Rs1k but there are things to consider: what happened to BSNL and MTNL when they offered unlimited 3G? The network got *reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally* slow and there were lots of complaints from all over the country. With WiFi, the same basic problem exists (especially if you use a wireless backhaul or mesh to connect your base stations together) - lots of connections = high utilization of router CPU = router dropping packets or crashing = not good. Again, to make an example of Tikona, it doesn't get many favourable reviews...
(P.S. Excuse my bias - I won't delve in to my views on wireless here, just trying to raise some of the considerations that may not have been thought about).
 
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AgentX

The Secret Agent
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Chennai
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Airtel / BSNL
@mgcarley,
Appreciate your response in this thread. I'll reiterate what you just said, torrents and wireless don't play well together. That was one of the main reasons why I got myself a dedicated ptp link instead of sharing the equipment already installed (although I don't torrent myself). Also, the pricing offered to me was indeed as an end-user, I'm unaware of the differences when you buy to resell.
Also, the pricing of 7k for 1:2 is indeed for an yearly connection, I'm not sure if it can get any cheaper (maybe I was being *duped*), I would love to go this route as going through a middleman isn't a good experience even though I receive better speeds at night but the entire connectivity crawls sometime.
 
savvy

savvy

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New Delhi
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Spectranet
@Mgcarley,
You seriously have a great deal of knowledge about the internet situation in India (both rural and urban scenarios).
After reading your advice, cable seems far better than the wireless option. And offering unlimited data seems too risky now. Over-utilization by few people'll downgrade the experience for most of the users.
But, if 3G becomes cheaper in future, most of the people with low data usage rates (around 10-12 GB) will prefer 3G instead of having a fixed line connection at their premises. Fixed line connections will then only be used by businesses, online gamers and heavy downloaders.

Further, when the FTTH providers like Beam Fiber and Spectranet FOX roll out their services in more areas in India, it'll become very much difficult to compete with them with just 1-2 mbps internet. Take for instance, Spectranet is giving 16 mbps speed for 96 GB data at Rs 2199 and Beam Fiber too has similar plans with much better post-FUP speeds.
Now, I don't know about it, but if the FTTH providers work through cable operators, it'll be a plausible option for those who are thinking about being an LCO (me, for instance).
 
M

mgcarley

Founder, Hayai Broadband
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abidh1992 said:
@mgcarley, Appreciate your response in this thread. I'll reiterate what you just said, torrents and wireless don't play well together. That was one of the main reasons why I got myself a dedicated ptp link instead of sharing the equipment already installed (although I don't torrent myself). Also, the pricing offered to me was indeed as an end-user, I'm unaware of the differences when you buy to resell.
It's not just wireless and torrents, it's wireless and anything particularly bandwidth heavy.
abidh1992 said:
Also, the pricing of 7k for 1:2 is indeed for an yearly connection, I'm not sure if it can get any cheaper (maybe I was being *duped*), I would love to go this route as going through a middleman isn't a good experience even though I receive better speeds at night but the entire connectivity crawls sometime.
You mean you're paying 7k for 2mbit/s (1:2 contention) for a year, or is it 7k/month for 2mbit/s (1:2 contention) with a contract term of 1 year?
savvy said:
@Mgcarley, You seriously have a great deal of knowledge about the internet situation in India (both rural and urban scenarios).
...thanks.
savvy said:
After reading your advice, cable seems far better than the wireless option. And offering unlimited data seems too risky now. Over-utilization by few people'll downgrade the experience for most of the users.
Wireless is fine but it has to be done right - that is to say that you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can have wireless, but not unlimited. Or you can have unlimited, but not wireless. For low-bandwidth demands and bursty traffic (not watching streaming video and such), wireless is perfectly adequate. But then, what are people going to want to do with your service? They're (probably) going to want to stream video and such, hence, wireless is less than ideal for that kind of usage. Make sense?
savvy said:
But, if 3G becomes cheaper in future, most of the people with low data usage rates (around 10-12 GB) will prefer 3G instead of having a fixed line connection at their premises. Fixed line connections will then only be used by businesses, online gamers and heavy downloaders.
Doubtful. 2 reasons:1. 3G in India is already WAY cheap compared to 3G anywhere else.2. If wired services can be as good/fast/reliable as their equivalents overseas, then wireless (3G/WiFi/LTE/etc) can be used in the manner for which they *should* be used: secondary or mobile access. But the problem right now is that 3G is as fast or faster than wired access and sometimes even more reliable, so there is no value in wired access to the Indian consumer.
savvy said:
Further, when the FTTH providers like Beam Fiber and Spectranet FOX roll out their services in more areas in India, it'll become very much difficult to compete with them with just 1-2 mbps internet. Take for instance, Spectranet is giving 16 mbps speed for 96 GB data at Rs 2199 and Beam Fiber too has similar plans with much better post-FUP speeds.
I think this kind of solidifies my second point... how many people in Hyderabad (for example) use 3G/WiFi as their primary access medium? I don't have numbers handy but I'd be willing to bet that it's probably a far lower percentage as compared to the rest of the country.
savvy said:
Now, I don't know about it, but if the FTTH providers work through cable operators, it'll be a plausible option for those who are thinking about being an LCO (me, for instance).
Cable Operators need to go away. India copying the ways of the US was a *bad* idea and consumers are paying the price (both in the US and in India).You can't even imagine how much of a nightmare it can be dealing with 150 different operators to provide service and then finding out that one guy won't provide your service because you're already tied up with another guy and those two guys don't like each other and so you get big gaps in coverage. Or the "companies" who have like 20 guys on the board of directors and when you approach them some of them say "yes" but then there's opposition from others simply because some people on the board are trying to make the rest of the board miserable. Or then there's the ones who are close with $AREA's politician and so they are the only one allowed in that area exclusively. Not to mention the violence and territorial BS that goes on in the background. Or the financial issues.What is really needed is 1 or 2 neutral providers that can (re)sell last-mile access to the entire city/state/country - better still if said providers are not in the retail market (and thus there is no issues with competition). This is pretty much how it works in the parts of Europe that don't have government-built networks.Not to say that cable operators don't provide a useful service - their infrastructure is needed, one way or the other, but you should also know that should you decide to start laying cables (make sure you have a license for that), you may have to deal with someone claiming you're encroaching on his territory and such (and based on your local operators complaints of cable sabotage and whatnot, he's probably in a similar position). **EDIT: this part of the reply was probably intended for another post, but I'm going to leave it here anyway as well since it still applies**
 
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click2connect

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If you still require any further clarifications for the same, you can contact me..
I run a similar set up in Chennai