Cloud Therapy: EP 022 – The Basics of Fixed Wireless for Business

September 20, 2016 Aerocom

EP 022

Did you know that Fixed Wireless has a great argument for being MORE reliable and secure than fiber?

California Internet founder and CTO (and fixed wireless technical genius), Ryan Hauf joins Mike for a fascinating discussion on Fixed Wireless Internet access for business. They discuss the technical facts surrounding security, reliability, bandwidth capacity, distance vs. signal and more.

AeroComInc.com’s trusty salesperson Josh Chamois also pops into the show to tell you about a provider who’s offering a promotional credit the size of your yearly salary! Then, Mike throws him a challenge in the City of Sin.

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Transcript:

 

 

Mike: Cloud Therapy Episode 22. Hey IT Nation! Welcome to Cloud Therapy with Aerocominc.com. Where you learn about the latest cloud and telecom technology that is gonna take your career to the next level. I’m your host, Mike Smith. Let’s do it.

Welcome, welcome all of you IT Professionals out there. Thank you for joining us on yet another episode. We’re already on episode 22 and I’m excited about this one. This is definitely one that all of you are gonna get a little bit something out of which is the goal, right? So fixed wireless. That’s something that from my experience, I’ve sat in a lot of meetings with a lot of IT professionals quoting them internet connectivity or why there are network connectivity and we brought up fixed wireless and there’s a lot of either–there’s either a lack of knowledge there, or there’s a misinformation. There’s definitely a lot of confusion when it comes to fixed wireless and what it is. So what do we do when we spot an opportunity to educate a little bit? We go and get the best people to educate you guys. So today, I have a special guest. His name is Ryan Hauf. And he is the CTO and co-founder or a company called California Internet. That’s a great fixed wireless provider here in Southern California. Now, Ryan is an electronics genius. He knows electronics and technical stuff inside and out. So he’s gonna give you, guys a great education on fixed wireless today. He’s gonna tell you about the capacity of fixed wireless, the type of equipment that they use, the type of security that they use, the reliability of it and actually he’s gonna also go into the future of fixed wireless and what they’re doing that’s really cool is gonna be coming down the pipe for you in the near future when it comes to this technology. So this is a fantastic discussion that he and I have that I can’t wait for you to hear.

Also on the program, we have our sales guy, Josh Chamois joining us. And Josh has got a promotion that will blow your mind. There’s a provider out there that’s giving away up to $50,000 in a credit back to you. So to find out more about what that is, you got to listen to Josh. He’s gonna give you some details on it. And also my challenge for Josh is to find a 10 Meg voice and internet service. It’s an integrated or converged service at a very famous spot in Las Vegas. So I’m gonna give you a little hint. There’s a mall inside this spot. Do you know which spot I’m talking about in Las Vegas? Do you wonder how much things cost if you’re a vendor inside there just for kicks? So, you wanna stay tune to hear that. We have some fun with that one.

And as always I wanna tell you about our free gift, so I spend some time, I carved out some time every single month to put something together for you guys as a free gift. So this month instead of Josh just giving you one promotion, I decided, “What if they want to know all the major promotions that are going on when it comes to business internet access?” So I took that one technology and I researched all the providers that have promotions going on right now with that technology and I made a list of ‘em. So if you want that, I’ll go ahead and email it to you, all you have to do is text the word ISP Deals to the number 44-222, that’s Deals PEARL. Text the word ISP Deals to the number 44-222 and we will email you that free gift with a list. I think there’s like 50 different options on it. So it’s a great little list.

Okay. So let’s get to the program but before we do I just wanna also remind you. Remember, we have the whole transcript of this podcast on our website. So no need to sit there and take notes, you could actually go to our website and look at the whole transcript. So if there’s any detail you wanna revisit, definitely go to the website. We actually pay money to have this done on every single episode every single week, we do it for you guys so that you’ll have some notes on all this stuff and you won’t have to be scrambling trying to take notes or fiddling out with the rewind button while you’re driving in your car. So go ahead and go to our website, Aerocominc.com/info/blog. In the search part just type in like Cloud Therapy Episode 22, for instance, and this episode will pop right up. So take advantage of that, we pay for it. It’s another gift for you, guys. So let’s get to the program starting with Josh.

So what’s up, Josh! What do you got for us today?

Josh: Hey, Mike. All right. I got some good stuff, big provider here of course, I’ll let them remain nameless but really, really cool promotion. So with this one it’s a cloud-based promotion so this is a cloud company. I came across this one just from standing contact with my channel manager there. Just, you know, just hitting them up here and there just to see if he has any good nuggets for me to throw out to my customers and new customers and this is what he gave me. So what it is? So anytime a client moves their infrastructure and they have–they’re already with a cloud platform today, right? So if they’re migrating their services from a competing cloud platform, this provider will give them a credit. So here’s the breakdown. Here’s the meat and potatoes of it.

So if the client migrates at least a thousand dollars’ worth of monthly spend, this provider will give them a $5,000 credit. It gets better. If they spin a thousand dollars a month of their cloud infrastructure, this provider will give them a $10,000 credit. If they spend $10,000 MRC on their cloud services, this provider will give them a $20,000 credit and if they spend $15,000 on their cloud environment, this provider will give them a $50,000 credit. Who does that? I don’t know.

Mike: Fifty as in 5-0?

Josh: 5-0, 50,000, 50K. Unbelievable, right? So really cool stuff and this wouldn’t expire until December 30th, 2016.

Mike: Wow, that’s a ton of money. So did I hear that right? So if they’re spending 1-5 like $15,000 a month, they can get up to a $50,000 credit?

Josh: Let me amend you on that. So it’s $50,000 spend, 50,000, 5-0, they get a 50,000, 5-0 credit.

Mike: Okay. Okay. Got it. So like when they get to those high numbers it’s almost like equal to their MRC?

Josh: Correct, correct.

Mike: Got it. Got it. So that’s a ton of a $50,000 credit. I don’t know of many providers that are–that are willing to give away $50,000 credit to help the migration from, you know, one cloud provider to another. That is a huge one and I appreciate you bringing us in the loop on that. So just–so all you guys know out there, you know, if you’re looking to switch cloud providers, you know, look around because there’s cool stuff out there where, you know, you don’t have to eat all the cost of the transition yourself. These providers are bending over backward to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars of credits back to you to help you with that transition. So very, very cool and again appreciate you sharing so…

Josh: Yeah. No problem.

Mike:  So all right. All right. So are you ready for the challenge today?

Josh: Absolutely. Let’s rock and roll.

Mike: All right. So let’s just say your vendor in Ceasar’s Palace Las Vegas…

Josh: Oh, oh, I love that place.

Mike: Yeah. And you need a PRI T1 for phone service. Say you’re just a little old school, you’re not transitioning over to SIP quite yet or Hosted VoIP or anything like that. You just want a traditional PRI. Can you find us like a ballpark price for if somebody wanted a PRI T1 in Ceasar’s Palace?

Josh: Absolutely. I’ll get on it right away. Yeah. Let me do my magic here and let you know we got c1 and pricing, huh? On a PRI?

Mike: Yeah. Just the ballpark price, you know, the provider’s name to remain nameless but yeah, just let’s see how long that takes you to pull up just a ballpark pricing of a PRI in that building.

Josh: All right. You got it. Give me a sec here.

Mike: Just to let you guys know, Josh preps me ahead of time that we’re recording this in the afternoon. He has not had any coffee so he might lose a couple seconds off his time when it is supposed to having him do it in the morning time.

Josh: You are so correct with that. I typically will have an afternoon cup whether iced or hot just to keep me going on that second part of the day, keep me firing on all cylinders but I did not have that today and I’m feeling it a little bit but I’m powering through.

Mike: I like it. I like it. So… as you’re kinda typing that stuff in, can you tell us a little bit about like are you using a software or what’s going on?

Josh: Yeah. Using a software I have access to, you know, since we are a broker agency. We have access to a nice, cool little handy-dandy tool that lets me spit out pricing all over the nation so truly really helpful to spin out the quotes quickly for our clients. It’s really cool.

Mike: That’s awesome. I wonder how many businesses are in Ceasar’s Palace that have a PRI?

Josh: That’s a good question.

Mike: It’s a bit–there’s a big mall in there. I know that there is definitely a lot of companies who have phone service in there but I don’t know if they have just like analog phone lines or some companies have more complex systems like I’m sure Ceasar’s Palace itself I’m curious I wonder if they have PRI’s or if they’re doing, you know, hosted or SIP or something along those lines.

Josh: Yeah. No, that’s a good question. That’s a good question. If I have to guess I mean for the hotel itself, I’m guessing either some type of SIP or PRI voice application. For the mall–yeah, you’re probably talking in a couple patch lines per store.

Mike: Or these days, a lot of times those retail stores sort of just use like hosted VoIP too. They’re just, you know, they’re just kinda throwing an inexpensive VoIP systems.

Josh: Yup. Yup. You’re right. You’re right.

Mike: But who knows? You never know sometimes they’re taking a lot of calls too or something and then maybe they have a fraction or not a fraction of like an integrated PRI.

Josh: Right.

Mike: Yeah, for this scenario we’re talking full PRI, 23 channels voice.

Josh: That’s right. So all right. So, my system is thinking so let’s give it a few seconds here to figure itself out.

Mike: How many–I mean, is this, you know, just for the listener’s sake. I mean, is this something that you quote up pretty regularly still? Are you still quoting up PRIs pretty on the regular or is it–is everything now going to SIP and things like that.

Josh: It’s funny you asked that. To answer your question, honestly, I haven’t quoted a ton of PRI. Everyone seems to be, you know, going into the Voice over IP realm or whether it’d be SIP or hosted Voice over IP and kind of, you know, living PRIs and patch lines as a thing of the past. So to answer your question, no, I haven’t but I just got a lead on Friday and this guy runs to replace his existing five PRIs, he’s just tired of the carrier. We are looking at SIP but he also wanted to look at traditional PRI as well just to get a–just to get a gauge on what a new carrier would be able to bring that can mirror his environment today. So he just wants to see what else is out there with another PRI carrier. So we’re looking at both but–yeah, for the most part, yeah, not a lot of PRI quotes know this. Not a lot. All right. So my quote tool is done populating so this carrier here is showing name list of course too much within $275 for PRI. That’s the lowest that I see, 275.

Mike: $275 a month?

Josh: Uh-hmm. Yup. And just to give a range on the high end of the spectrum were looking at $478 and just kinda funny but because both of these are full PRIs 23 channels, and one B channel so, yup. Yup.

Mike: Very cool. Awesome. That’s pretty fast. That’s only within, you know, a couple minutes and you have several things that have popped up and with obviously a very good price and one that’s a little more in the high end but then, you know, as we start to dig down into those things sometimes I know you will read as soon as you find out, “Oh, okay.” One of them is including all the local minutes for free and then one of them everything is metered and then sometimes it’s just a heck of a deal. They just give them away for a really low price. Yeah. So, cool. Awesome. Well, you have passed the challenge once again. I’ve yet to stump you on one of these.

Josh: It’s not gonna happen, Mike. That’s not gonna happen.

Mike: We’ll see then. I’m gonna throw out some–I’m gonna throw out Mount Rushmore if you find a gigabit at Mt. Rushmore.

Josh: That’s funny.

Mike: Cool. Oh, all right, Josh. Thanks for joining us and we’ll catch you next time.

Josh: Yeah, no problem. All right. Thanks, Mike. Talk soon.

Mike: Okay. So did you guess Ceasar’s Palace? Have you ever been to Ceasar’s Palace? I’ve been there a couple times myself. Pretty cool place, pretty huge, pretty easy to get lost inside there but did you guess correctly on how much that 10 Meg integrated circuit was gonna cost? If you did, congrats. You’re appraising expert as well. Now, if you want Josh to do something similar for you and uses magical software there to pull up pricing or fiber availability or just ballpark stuff, he’s at your service for free. So all you have to do is email sales@aerocominc.com or hit us up on our live chat on our website or you can call us at (877) 465-3505, all roads will probably lead to Josh or one of us and will probably refer you back to Josh. So as you can tell he’s an easy guy to talk to, a great guy and he loves to help people out as much as he can and so take advantage of it.

All right. So the next part of our program, we’re gonna be talking to Ryan Hauf about fixed wireless internet. And as I said before, Ryan is a mastermind at this stuff. He’s extremely technical, that’s his area of expertise for the company. He’s a co-founder of California Internet here in Southern California. He’s actually serving as the CTO currently. But I mean, Ryan’s got just a ton of background on cool technical little stuff and he’s gonna tell us a bunch of different stories that I think you’ll all get a kick out of especially being technical people yourselves and IT folks, he did some stuff as a kid that I would have never done as a child but maybe you guys can relate to this but I mean he’s stringing wired to his neighbor’s house. He did all kinds of different stuff and also I was reading on his bio, he’s actually an archery champion as well. So he does a bunch of different things. He’s a really interesting guy and we’re really lucky to have him on the podcast and I know you’re gonna get some good information on fixed wireless out of this so I know that you’re definitely gonna be a lot more clear about what fixed wireless can do for your company and hopefully it’s available to everyone who’s listening. So without further ado, here is Ryan Hauf and our great conversation on fixed wireless. Enjoy.

Thanks for joining us on the program, Ryan.

Ryan: Hey, Mike. Thanks for having me.

Mike:   No problem. Our pleasure. Tell us a little bit about yourself personally and professionally.

Ryan: Well, I’ve always been heavily drawn to tech and anything electronic, computers, stuff like that. As a kid, I ran a BBS and I live in Ojai, California, small town but it’s a good place and I sort of had my roots there on the wireless industry.

Mike: Awesome. So then like and what is your–what is your official title today?

Ryan: I am the CTO at California Internet.

Mike: And so for you what does that mean you’re doing on a daily basis?

Ryan: So on a daily basis, planning out new tower deployments, looking at the network as it is, figuring out how we’re gonna go things better, how we’re gonna eliminate problems we’ve had in the past just making it run more fluid and expand to meet our customers’ needs.

Mike: Very cool. So and for those of you who don’t know California Internet is a fixed wireless internet service provider for businesses. So but how did you–so how did you decide to get into the fixed wireless business?

Ryan: Well, you know, I’ve always really liked the technology of wireless ever since it came out, you know. As a kid I played with two-way radios and stuff like that and anything wireless or technologies just, you know, been a fascination of mine. So I got into the fixed wireless because my uncle has a ranch out on the east end of Ojai. And nearby there there’s a row of houses and they don’t have any internet access and he had DSL and I kept thinking then, I wonder if there is a way that I could get this DSL extended over to these houses. So eventually I heard about a company called a Ubiquitous was starting to manufacture in here. And it was–it was pretty good. And I set up a solar power repeater on an old wind machine which is in his farm basically to relay the DSL over to the houses. And that was–that was pretty fun and that sort of–sort of gave me my roots in the wireless industry, I guess.

Mike: Very cool. Now what about the story, you know, we’re talking before the show. I love for you to tell everybody the story about, you know, as a kid, you know, the story about you trying to connect up with one of your neighbors.

Ryan: Right, right. So when I was a kid, one of my favorite multiplayer games on the computer was Doom 2 and also my friend across the street played it and, you know, we wanted to be able to play it against each other through the LAN but his computer is there, mine is at the house so it wasn’t very practical to haul our desktops back and forth to have LAN parties. So also envision that he had ISDN line which dualized ISDN actually, a 128K. So fast. We’re the same class at the time so I wanted to, you know, have a little access to that. So we devised a method to interconnect our houses using a 10Base-T Ethernet. What we did was I took an old TV cable and ran it up the top of the tree in my yard and up to the top of the tree in his yard and then we got some really light gauge. We didn’t–the idea was that we didn’t want it to be too noticeable so we got some really light gauge wires like 22-inch wire probably. It’s a single strand and then it’s a single strand of very thin picture hanging wire which he spiraled around the wire and strung between the treetops extend to the television cable that we had ran up trees. And it actually worked. We got the network connected across the street and it was up and running for a couple of years until eventually the wire had sagged some because as the trees would blow they’d sort of stretched the wire out, as the trees would sway in the wind. So the wires started to sag and then eventually the some of the truck came along and got hooked on the wire and that was the end of that.

Mike: You’re like, “No!” As you had saw the truck coming down this tree.

Ryan: Yeah. I think actually by the time that the wire got destroyed we weren’t using it anymore but we did use it for again a year or so. So we got our work out of it.

Mike: That’s pretty cool. So that was probably one of the first times that lit your networking fire as far as… like, “Oh, connecting stuff together. That’s pretty cool. I think I can do that.”

Ryan: Yeah, for sure. And there were wireless technologies that I was aware of or had access to at the time then, I would have been all over it but as it was all I had access to is some speaker wire and some picture hanging wire so it’s a trick.

Mike: Well, I’ll tell you what you’re miles ahead of me as a kid. I was out shooting birds or something of that too. But like, “Yeah, that’s cool. That sounds great,” you know, in concept but, you know, good for you to figure out how to do it. That’s awesome.

Ryan: Yup.

Cool. Today, Ryan is gonna talk to us about fixed wireless internet. And when I asked Ryan to be on the program, I thought it was important to talk about fixed wireless because for, you know, I think in the last 16 years I’ve known about fixed wireless and I think the first telecom job I ever interviewed for was a company that did strictly fixed wireless out of downtown LA. I think they’re called Windstar. And I didn’t get in the job. They didn’t hire me but I was kinda thankful for that later on but yeah, so I’ve known about it for a while but talking to customers I can tell that there is a definite misunderstanding about fixed wireless and, you know, that the security of it, the reliability of it, the quality of it in general. So, you know, we’ve had a lot of really good experiences with customers with California Internet so I thought, hey, why not have somebody from their company come on and educate everybody a little bit about fixed wireless, what it is, what it’s not, and you know, why it’s reliable and all that type of stuff. So I thought I’d have Ryan on to talk about it so that we could learn something. So at this point, I kinda turn it over to you, Ryan and I guess start, you know, maybe tell us about how fixed wireless has evolved, you know, over the last 15 years. I know that, you know, the technology itself is a little bit better than it was 15 years ago. It was solid 15 years ago but now it’s even better. But maybe just kind of explain it, you know, in essence just to defining how it works and then how it’s gonna change over the last 15 years.

Ryan: Sure. Yeah. So fixed wireless has actually been–it’s a  much older technology than most people realized, you know, the phone companies has been using fixed wireless since the 50’s, or long haul communications and of course companies realized that many of their communications are digitized at the time and sent over a long haul wireless usually 5 Gigahertz connections. So in the last, you know, 15, 20 years so you really started to see wireless sort of blooming as a–as an internet connection, a means of internet connections. The earlier ones, the earlier wireless companies–now, there’s a lot of–there’s a lot of conception that wireless is bad, you know, that’s mostly due to operator error. For instance, you know, the wired provider goes down and fails, everybody blames the operator or the proprietor. He doesn’t know what he’s doing, Time Warner whoever it is. They’re bad, blah blah blah. But if a wireless company goes down, people just blame the technology. There’s a wireless signal you go, “Oh, man, wireless is terrible. I need a wired connection.” That’s generally the consensus.

However, wireless in reality has a lot less points of failure. Now the early days of wireless, there are few shortcomings, you know, the radios they were in their infancy and they were not a lot of people did modify home routers and stuff like that to try and build outdoor wireless networks, you know, Linksys, DD-WRT firmware allowed you to do–as an open source firmware allowed you to do point-to-point bridges and stuff like that that you might wanna set up for an outdoor wireless network, you know, hook up some big antennas to the access point and turn it into a client unit and get a wireless network that doesn’t work very well. So in recent times, however, there’s been a lot of advances in the wireless–in wireless equipment. You know, we’ve got outdoor equipment which is running new protocols that have at better time-sharing so that client units aren’t having collisions interfering with each other. It’s called the hidden node problem. It’s pretty common thing with early wireless but that’s come a long way and a lot of the technologies have just moved so much further forward and the rates are much higher now than they were then. And it’s just the–I’d say it’s a technology that’s really beginning to mature at this point into a solid, good solid viable platform.

Mike: So what would you–so like the one thing, you know, that I know obviously is the content with fixed wireless is you have to have line-of-sight, correct? So you have to be able to see–so if you’re gonna deliver fixed wireless to your business, you guys are putting an antenna on the roof their building and you guys have to see back to your main base station, correct?

Ryan: Yeah, that’s correct for most frequencies and all the frequencies that were used are like that and there are some non-line-of-sight frequencies but generally the performance is lower so we don’t use those. So yeah, so a typical installation for us would be we’d put a dish up on the roof of the building and be on usually a non-penetrating mount and then that dish should point back to either a tall building or mountaintop tower side or somewhere where we have one of our access points.

Mike: Okay. Got it. And then what is roughly the range of wireless bandwidth? I know a lot of people, you know, probably don’t know like, you know, how–like at the minimum, what is–what’s the speed, at the maximum, what’s the speed?

Ryan: It can be anywhere from, you know, a couple of Megs up to a Gig or 2 Gigs up there but depending on the configuration and the type of the technology. So range-wise, most–I’m sorry? Okay. So range wise, most of our mountaintop tower sites, you know, they have line-of-sight for miles and miles and miles. So we draw the line, you know, around depending on the noise bar of the site, usually 10 to 15 miles. However, technically, you could go up to maybe 30 miles or so before you start encountering problems like thermal ducting which is weather-related phenomenon that would–it’s basically like a mirage or radio waves where the two devices actually have line of sight to each other but the waves are sort of bent if you will and they don’t get the target, the target is getting just like in a mirage. So yeah, 15 miles or so is about what we consider the once a good idea to stay under at 15 miles. And there’s other frequencies that can only go maybe a mile or even half a mile and they have their other various pros and cons.

Mike: Okay. And then as far as–as far as bandwidth goes, is the bandwidth that a business gets from a wireless connection, is it guaranteed at a certain speed or is that like, you know, like, you know, business-class cable or DSL where they give you like a–you give them like a maximum speed and it’s–and they get like best effort up to that maximum speed.

Ryan: Well, it could be setup either way. It really depends on the operator and their deployment style. The way we do it is most of our deployments are set up with guaranteed speed or dedicated speed for the customer. So if the customer buys–let’s say the customer buys a 1 Gig connection from us then we’d set up some sort of high-capacity gear probably millimeter band or maybe a license, duct licensed band or something like that and we’d give them a dedicated connection. However, there might be other instances where there’s maybe it’s budget connections for housing or something like that where there’s more shared bandwidth or what we call up two speeds but generally our business model is guaranteed speeds for all our business connections.

Mike: Got it. And is it synchronous or is it like they get a faster upload or a faster download than upload or is it same speed both ways?

Ryan: We only do synchronous connections. Of course, you could configure it however you want it. It could be asynchronous in either direction but synchronous is most of our markets business and they’re looking for synchronous so those are the offerings that we have.

Mike: Got it. That makes sense. Now tell us a little bit about the reliability of it because I know that’s something that comes up probably most common. I think that and security… so if you could touch on reliability and security, that would be great. Because I think that’s the main concern ever since. Well, I don’t know if I wanna put that kind of traffic on a wireless connection, you know, we–“I think we’ll go with fiber if we can get it as opposed to wireless”…  like tell us about the reliability and kind of help clarify some of that.

Ryan: Sure, yeah. So reliability. Well, as an example, I guess, you could–you could say the reliability of wireless is actually higher than wired because you have fewer points of failure. You only have the devices that either end of the path, fail. Whereas the wired connection or fiber connection, you have the entire cable that fails anywhere along that path so you could follow on it, somebody can dig it up out of the ground, somebody could steal the cable. An example of that would be military use of wireless overseas. Part of the reason they use wireless is because when they run in wired communications between bases or wherever, people steal the cables. And with wireless, there’s nothing to steal so it’s in a matter of speaking, it can be much more reliable because you completely reliant only the hardware at the end points rather than the endpoint hardware and miles of cable in between.

Mike: Right. Now, what about the misconception I hear a lot about people talking about weather affecting the wireless connection they’ll say, “Well, you know, I have friends in Southern California really dense big raindrops so that really affects wireless and I don’t want that to affect us in San Francisco,” or they’ll say, “You know, we have a really dense fog and so wireless doesn’t really work very well in that type of scenario.” Can you kinda clear up some of those misconceptions?

Ryan: Sure. Most of the frequencies are not affected whatsoever by any sort of weather like 5 Gigahertz, even 11 Gigahertz is not very affected. There are some frequencies that are distance- limited during rain so that has to be taken into account by the operator, you know, say, “Well, it’s just 24 Gigahertz, maybe I shouldn’t deploy it in 5 miles because it rains heavily there.” So you might wanna draw the line at two miles or something like that so that you know you’re gonna–that during the heaviest rainstorm that you get in a given geographical area that you’re still gonna be up and online at that time. So a lot of operators, they might try and scratch what they can do on some of the higher frequencies and that can result in what we call rain fade and then outages. But a good operator is gonna know the limitations of the equipment and weather and rain should be a non-issue for wireless communications in a properly deployed environment.

Mike: Makes sense. It makes sense. It’s like kinda like with fiber if you–if you have somebody who’s not using the right equipment on fiber and trying to take it too far. I mean, it would be the same thing, it would be operator error, right? As opposed to technology error.

Ryan: Yeah, exactly or running copper too far like in the early days of DSL, people were trying and did it when they were way past the distance from a [inaudible] 0:33:20 and, you know, it kinda worked most of the times sort of.

Mike: Right. That makes sense. And then what about security? I mean, you know, because I hear that a lot too, like, “Ah, you know, I’m just kind of leery about the security of wireless.”

Ryan: That again it’s up to the operator. Most operators are pretty good about security now. You know, you have good AES encryption. So all of our lengths, you know, they’re running–many of them are running proprietary protocols or various different radio manufacturers have different protocols. But in addition to that, you have the encryption level on top of it so being able to hack a wireless signal, it’s not really so easily done so in a lot of ways most hacks are done by physically hacking into the device, you know, finding a switch or a hub along the way and either hacking that and having it forward packets to you or posing as that device along the path. So, if you have less physical devices that’s actually less places for a hacker could, less vulnerabilities for a hacker. So an argument for wireless in terms of security would be that you won’t have your end points where you have physical locations that could have a physical hack on or as opposed to a wired network, you might have switches and stuff along the way that anyone of them could be compromised or a device and an immediate device could be plugged down. So I don’t really see security as being a concern with wireless networks presuming that they’re deployed properly.

Mike: Yeah, I think a lot of that misconception is coming just from WiFi. I think everybody is thinking more along the lines of they’re used to WiFi like, you know, opening up your computer and seeing everybody else’s network sitting there and knowing that’s, you know, it’s easy for anyone to just kinda hack in but it’s just–it’s a completely different technology, right? Than where it’s the security have fixed wireless is totally different than WiFi.

Ryan: Absolutely, yeah. It’s much higher security than what you would see on your–especially the earlier home routers where people really were hacking into their neighbor’s WiFi, you know, using WEP encryption and stuff like that. And that was pretty easy to sniff out the encryption key and be able to basically log in and use it. But in addition to that, you know, we have per session isolation on the wireless so even if somebody did manage to get connected somehow they wouldn’t see any of the other customers contact loading back and forth. You know, that would be isolated from them.

Mike: That’s great. And I think, you know, everybody listening I think the big takeaway here is I know a lot of IT professionals probably, you know, have a lot of confidence in the security of the, you know, a fixed wireless connection. They understand a lot of this stuff but it’s then convincing their management about it as well. So, you know, these are good points to bring up to your management. And if, you know, don’t worry, you don’t have to write them all down. If you guys go to our website, we actually have transcripts of this podcast. If you go to Aerocominc.com/info/blog, you’ll find this podcast there where you guys can actually look at the transcripts and take notes a little bit. So if you’re talking about a fixed wireless connection to your management team, you can give them fact in terms of the security if there’s any misconceptions or concerns about security with the wireless connections. So those are great points.

Now what about getting into new technologies in the future? You know, what types of–where is fixed wireless going in the future? What are some new things that are coming out?

Ryan: Yes. So one of the really exciting new technologies that’s coming out is there’s been a lot of question and pressure and development in the new millimeter bands and that would be the very, very high-frequency stuff like anything about 24 Gigahertz, 80 Gigahertz, 38 Gigahertz, etcetera. These higher frequencies that are very, very–I guess, you could say they’re very directional with their relatively small antenna. So there’s not a lot of a variance between them and you can get very high-quality circuits on these higher frequencies. The downside being, of course, the range is limited due to rain fade stuff like that because very high frequency doesn’t penetrate weather for a very long distance. So what we’re looking at doing is very dense tower deployment in the areas where most of our or most of our clientele are. So we’ll put in, you know, maybe building top towers or, you know, relatively closed space that we can have, very high customer density around these towers and then we can get on the millimeter bands we can do Gigabit circuits on wireless and that would be very little lengths and see very reliable and an excellent alternative to fiber.

Mike: Wow, that’s great. Yes, especially I mean, if you’re trying to get something like that installed, you know, from a fiber standpoint. I mean, if you’re not in a high-rise building that already has fiber, that’s gonna be a pricey fiber install that may not be possible. That’s a lot faster and easier if you can set that up wirelessly.

Ryan: Yeah. And, you know, and we can do connections as soon as the day after they’ve been ordered. You know, we’ve had very rapid deployment. Typically would be couple of days but, you know, compared to a fiber build that might take months, you know, you could get the wireless installed immediately. Another good thing is a lot of businesses require diversity in their internet connections so they might have a fiber connection, they might also want a wireless connection for diversity in case something happens to fiber and maybe it’s dug up, maybe the provider goes down or maybe some hardware fails or fiber motor fails.

Mike: Absolutely. I think, you know, that’s huge. I mean, if, you know, whenever we’re talking to our client and have fiber installed and they’re looking for diverse connection, you know, I’m always telling them you guys have got to look at fixed wireless because it’s just as good as your fiber connection but it’s diversity of path that you’re looking for. It’s like, “Hey, here’s just as good of a connection with just so much bandwidth but it’s a completely different path,” you know, once you start going into the streets, I was just talking about that with a previous podcast guest about how hard it is to find true diversity throughout the streets, you know, once you–at some point, you’re gonna consolidate down into the same path if you’re–if you’re talking about a wired connection. It’s gonna be really hard to find a provider that can really take you completely different route than your existing connection but with wireless, I think that diversity of access is huge.

Ryan: Absolutely, yeah. You know, when they lay fibers on the street, usually one entity will have the street dug up, so they’ll pull a bunch of fiber all at once and then they’ll sell off a bunch of their fiber to, you know, various other entities so you might buy connection from, you know, two or three different providers and they’ll go back to the same fiber trunk or to the same conduit anyhow that would potentially all be dug up at the same time.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely. That’s great. You know, I think that’s, you know, if not just getting it by itself, you know, at least trying it out for back up and, you know, that might be a good way to try fixed wireless is put it in for your backup and see how it performs and, you know, if it’s more cost effective than your main connection, eventually grow into your primary connection and use a wired connection as your backup if it’s more cost-effective to go big bandwidth on fixed wireless, you know, just from an equipment standpoint that might be the case as well.

Ryan: Sure, absolutely. And, you know, a lot of the time we’ll have a customer that will install a fixed wireless connection because they’re waiting for fiber. The fiber is not gonna be in for three to four months sometimes. So we’ll put in the wireless connection and it will work so good they’ll be so impressed by it that they’ll just cancel the fiber and say, “Yeah, yeah, we’ll stick with the wireless. It’s, you know, it’s been working out great.”

Mike: Yeah, especially that these fibers are just, you know, held long sometimes those takes. Sometimes it’s like, “Oh, we can get it in 60 days.” Nine months later, it’s still not in.

Ryan: Exactly.

Mike: And you’re like, “Come on, man.” Yeah, that’s good point. That’s cool. I think that’s a lot of good information on fixed wireless. Is there anything else we should know about that we didn’t cover?

Ryan: I think we covered it pretty good.

Mike: Awesome. Awesome. Well, you know, you and I talked before the show about a couple stories that are somewhat work-related and I wanted you to share them. One of them is pretty funny about climbing a tower, the other one about a power outage a bit. I love for you to share those stories with the audience. I think those are, you know, because we always go over a story in the podcast that’s, you know, something interesting or funny that happened at work and I think those both fit that bill and they’re also technology related to what we’re talking about. So, yeah, if you would please share those with us and give us a break and little bit entertainment.

Ryan: Sure, yeah, absolutely. So, you know, when I first started building the wireless network around my hometown of Ojai, I just kinda, you know, it was a small town, everybody kinda knows each other. People are introducing me to other people and somebody introduced me to a gentleman on a hill who had a tower site in his yard and the tower was empty. It was a 100-foot self-support tower. It’s a pretty nice tower. So he said, “Well, yeah, you can put stuff on it but you got to climb up there or whatever you want, put it at the top.” So I said, “Okay. That sounds great.” So I went and got a climbing harness which of course I didn’t know anything of what I was doing but I–it turned out to be a window washer’s safety harness but that was okay. And to save money from buying lanyards and so I didn’t really have any money to spend on it, I bought some rope and some hooks at the hardware store and I made my own lanyards. And I went on the tower and then built the whole thing and I didn’t fall off luckily. Thinking it back, it makes me cringed a little bit. Now, that of course I’m a tower certified and everybody who were, you know, although we have climbing is trained and certified and has proper climbing equipment that doesn’t involve ropes in a [inaudible] 0:43:47 for us. So it was a, you know, it was definitely a little bit nerve-racking to have been in a hundred feet on a–balancing on a inch and a half light piece of angle iron within a 45 degree angle and holding on to the tip of the corner pole tower and, you know, hoping your $3 rope in a hardware store will hold you if you slip.

Mike: Yeah. Homemade equipment here I’m on, made this myself but I’ve never tested it at a hundred feet so let’s hope this works.

Ryan: Yeah. So that was actually part of a project. One of the first wireless projects I did which is make way back up in the hills on Ojai. There’s a housing or like community of houses about 50 houses or so and they’re way back up, you know, I mean they don’t even have DSL. They don’t have anything. So they were on satellite and, you know, word of mouth spread and then one of the residents back there heard that I was–I had this wireless internet and they got, “Oh, that sounds pretty cool. I wonder if you could bring it to my house.” So I said, “Well, yeah, sure, I’ll take a look.” So I went up and look. I mean, I drove up this windy road and back through all these steels and I get there and I was like, “Oh, man, this is never gonna work out and man”, he wanted it so bad. So he introduced me to somebody else up there who’s even further up and way, way, way off the grid, you know, two miles beyond the end of the last house on this windy-bound canyon and this guy he didn’t even have electricity. He was off the grid. He had his own power source, his own water wells, everything. And he wanted me to get that really bad too because, you know, he was on a satellite and the guy was a photographer, so he had photos he want to upload and share and send stuff. So he started talking to me about his solar system that operates his house and he had just upgraded it. So he got a bunch of old like 30-year-old solar panels that were from the original system and he was like, “Hey, I have all these solar panels, you can have them if you want.” And I said, “Hmm, okay, sure. I’ll take them.” So I started thinking about how can I use these solar panels to get to power equipment way up in the hills to get power up there into this community of houses. So I ended up buying some steel and I welded up some frames and got some golf cart batteries and some hardware freight charge controllers which I don’t really recommend those anymore but I did manage to get the system up and running and that system is still up and running today and those houses are online and it required climbing up some hills. One of them was a–oh, man, we had to get it so far up there. It was–I think it was about a–it’s about a two-and-a-half-hour hike but we had to clear all the brush out with pruners and the machete and it was a pretty crazy installation. We don’t quite get that crazy anymore but they were very happy to get online and get rid of their satellite provided internet which is terrible so now they can go Netflix and do Skype and stuff like that. Sometimes.

Mike: Very cool. Very cool. Now, what about the power story? The power outages.

Ryan: Right. Power outages. So one of the lessons that I learned along the way is that just because you have AC power doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have humungous battery backups like days and days of battery backups. And I don’t have a pretty good battery backups but one of our tower sites, you know, we had a power outage and I kept thinking, “Yeah, it’s gonna come back on soon. It’s got to come back on soon.” Well, 18 hours later, it still hasn’t come back on and our battery has finally run out. So shortly before they run out, we decided well, we better get out there with a generator or something and I thought, well, this tower is pretty far away. It’s a good 4-hour drive to get through it if not more. So I thought, well, maybe instead of a generator that’s gonna, you know, run out of fuel every 7 or 8 hours, what if we–it’s something that I’ve done before is just park my truck and use the power inverter to run the equipment and left the truck idle, lock the doors and it’s fine. It only uses maybe a quarter tank a day just sitting there idling. So I thought, well, that under run a lot longer before it used to be refilled. So we decided to take one of the bands and the power inverter and then another truck to drive back. So we get all the way there and we’re heading up this fairly treacherous mountain road and of course it was a little bit worse because it had just rained and they were a few rock slides here and there and unfortunately, there was a rock in the middle of the road that came in contact with the oil pan over the van and that wasn’t so good. So we left and we came all the way back, got another van and the truck and the trailer to haul the other van away that was stuck way up there in the middle of nowhere. So we returned with the new van, the truck and the trailer, we get up there and realized that we don’t–that we left the key in the other truck that we exchanged for the one in the trailer.

Mike: It’s the simple things.

Ryan: Yes, it was the simple things. So we had to go all the way back and get the key and by the time that we came all the way, the key for the radio room that was in order to get in and hook up our power inverter to the equipment. So by the time that we got until the other van back, it got all the way back, it had been–I think it was the second morning at that point I had watched the sun come up and I was watching it come up for the second time at that point, I was getting really tired. But that time, another operator who operates in two-way equipment of that tower had set up a generator and he was just setting it up right when I finally got there and I was like, “Oh, hold that for nothing.” And he had plugged their equipment into it anyhow so the lesson that we learned is put in days and days of battery backups even if you have Edison power because you never know when it might be down. The problem was that the very long lines that led out to that tower had failed but nobody else is reporting it because we are the only ones out there. This one with a radio tower. And the Edison company had denied that the power was out and blamed the tower owner. And the tower owner had blamed Edison so there was a bit of back and forth. Eventually they finally did find that it was a bad ground in one of the, I guess, for the step down transformer was up the way a little ways in that building.

Mike: Jeez, that’s crazy.  Well, that’s a cool story, lesson learned there–I mean, you know, it’s like it’s just whatever can happen, will happen. So that’s cool.

Ryan: Yeah, we’re definitely very familiar with Murphy’s Law in this industry but, you know, the more every time it happens, we’re more prepared for it. And this time at this point, you know, we’ve been in business for a little over five years old now and we’ve worked out most of those problems. I mean, I don’t know what the future holds but we’re going pretty darn solid so, you know, at this point using what I’ve learned from our own network and from other people’s networks, you know, the technology is very, very reliable now.

Mike: That’s great. Well, I think that makes a good transition for you to tell us a little bit about California Internet and what you guys do really well like tell us a little bit, you know, where your coverage areas are and what kinda makes you guys different.

Ryan: Yeah. So we cover all of the greater LA area. We also cover San Diego and Phoenix and we have networks throughout California and we’re expanding and adding more denser coverage throughout the rest of California. Our focus is mostly on business and enterprise internet so, you know, we–I guess medium and larger business. Anyhow, yeah, one of the things that we strive for is to have really, really good customer service and to be on top of any sort of [inaudible] 00:51:27 before they happen or immediately after they happened but maybe even before the customer realizes there’s a problem. So anytime we can take care of something, you know, preemptively that’s it a score for us. And also just to build an extraordinarily reliable network but all kinds of redundancies so that when things do fail which they do, there will be, you know, parallel equipment in the path that takes over so it ends up being seamless for the customer they’re up. They don’t even realize anything has happened and we can repair the problem and the network just keeps chugging along. So 100% reliability is what we strive for and we get pretty darn close.

Mike: Yeah, you guys are doing a great job, you know, I had never heard of you until we started quoting you – I don’t know, a year or so ago and for a customer too and we got selling a couple of connections from you guys and we’re just really impressed with–I mean, with the fact that when you guys said it was available, it was available and I think that, you know, that that’s big with fixed wireless. A lot of times they’ll say it’s available and then somehow during the install, it ends up becoming not available and, you know, it’s always driven us nuts, you know, when we got a cell with a provider who does that. But for you guys it’s like, “Hey, you said it was available, you guys went out there and delivered it. It was available, you delivered it very quickly.” And the business was really happy and I think that like you said it comes down to customer service. Not to me it’s customer services saying being able to, you know, correctly identify when you can service something and when you can’t. And then…

Ryan: Absolutely. Yeah.

Mike:…and delivering it fast.

Ryan: Yeah. In the early days when we, you know, when we’re first engineering these connections, we had about I think we’re around the 80% success rate in the ones that we set. Oh, yeah, we can service that and then they would actually be successful installations. Now, I think we’re at about 99% where we very, very rarely have one where we’ve given at the green light go ahead and then it ends up being what we’re calling no go. So that almost never happens. Occasionally there’s things that were unforeseen like there was a new building built across the street and that’s in the path or the maybe we get–we’re restricted or we made a mistake and it was–we thought it was this building and it turned out to be this other building or we can’t go on that part of the roof or something like that. So occasionally that happens and that’s pretty much accounts for the 1% strikeouts but we’ve gotten that process refined pretty well so that when an order comes in, if you say, “Yes, we can service it.” 99% of the time statistically, we can deliver that service successfully within the time period that we do then.

Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, that’s definitely what we’ve experienced and yeah, and then you even being able to service some sites where, you know, we–you know, there’s large providers who have wireless, you know, fixed wireless as a product and they couldn’t get to it and you guys could so, you know, definitely here in Southern California you guys are doing a fantastic job and, you know, best of luck to you guys as you guys continue to grow and expand that footprint.

Ryan: Absolutely, yeah. Thanks, Mike.

Mike: Yeah. Well, great. Well, thanks for joining us today, Ryan. I think we all learned a little bit which is always the goal and just learning a little bit more every day and I think that you definitely helped us do that and I hope that everybody listening learned a couple things about fixed wireless that they didn’t know before and can maybe use that information to, you know, help vet service providers if they are looking at fixed wireless say, you know, you’re in an area where California Internet is not available but you could still use some of this information to help vet a provider that you’re quoting and make sure that, you know, distance wise that they’re close enough compared to the frequency and things like that just to give you some pointers. And again, if you guys wanna go back and look at the show notes or transcripts, you’re more than welcome and take a look at Aerocominc.com/info/blog and take some notes there. But again, Ryan, thanks for joining us today. I really appreciate you carving out the time to teach us a couple of things.

Ryan: Absolutely, yeah. Thanks for having me, Mike.

Mike: No problem. Have a great day.

Ryan: You too.

Mike: All right. Bye. I told you Ryan knew his stuff. That guy is technical and I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone who started out in tech experimenting in that way at such a young age – at least no one that I’ve known. So that was a really cool conversation and I hope you guys enjoyed it. I know I definitely learned a couple things about wireless that I didn’t know prior to talking to Ryan and I’ve actually been around wireless since 1999. So when he’s teaching me a couple things, I know that he’s teaching you guys a lot of stuff too. So hope you enjoyed it and before we go I wanted to remind you about the free gift I worked on for you guys this month and I wanna make sure you take advantage of it. Just text the word, ISPDEALS to the number 44-222 and we’ll email you a free copy of all the promotions for business internet access that are being offered from all the different service providers right now. So from business cable to Ethernet over copper to fixed wireless like Ryan was talking about today, you know, fiber. All the different promos that are going on right now, it’s on a list and we’ll email it to you. All you have to do is text the word ISPDEALS to the number 44-222. It is our free gift to our podcast listeners as a thank you for listening to our podcast this month. And if you like any additional information about fixed wireless or if you just like to talk to Ryan, we can totally arrange that. Just email us at podcast@aerocominc.com, that A-E-R-O-C-O-M-I-N-C,.com and we’ll be happy to accommodate.

All right. Well everybody have a fantastic day. I hope you learned a little bit today and until the next time, go dominate in IT.

IT Nation, thank you for joining us on Cloud Therapy with Aerocominc.com. Visit us at Aerocominc.com. That’s A-E-R-O-M-C-O-M-I-N-C,.com and head on over to the blogs section for notes on everything we talked about today as well as our blogs, provider reviews and of course, the best quotes for any technology.

 

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