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Thread: Cost of starting a WISP

  1. #1

    Question Cost of starting a WISP

    Hi Guys,

    Can anybody perhaps give a rough idea of what it would cost for me to setup a WISP.
    Radius servers extra..
    Pretty keen to extend my business this way...

    Thx Petrus

  2. #2

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    Radius Manager software is pretty cheap $100 to $200 depending on your size.

    You need some licenses from ICASA R20000 for first year thereafter couple of percent of WISP revenue per year.

    Then it's just wireless equipment, hi-site rentals, electricity and a lot of bandwidth

  3. #3

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    Hi Petrus,

    That depends on many things, including how large the geographical area is that you want to cover, how many customers you want to reach, what speeds you want to offer etc.


    I'll give you an example:

    I provide wireless internet to two villages (about 7km apart) and all the surrounding farms (up to 25km away). There are no true high-points and line of sight is quite a problem with all the trees around, so I use more antennas than would otherwise be necessary (16 separate antenna sites). Most of my antennas around town are situated on customer premises - usually businesses. The equipment is all Mikrotik and I use their User Manager software as my RADIUS server.

    Power cuts are a problem, so my antennas all run directly off of deep-cycle batteries that are charged by intelligent chargers while the power is on. Most can run for up to 5 days without power.

    I had to purchase two licenses from ICASA. The licenses prohibit me from using any of the frequencies in the lower half of the 2.4GHz spectrum, because Telkom uses these for their TDMA telephone network in the area. I therefore use 5GHz for backhaul links and 2.4GHz for around town.

    I supply Internet to around 90 full-time subscribers, of which 20 are uncapped, and offer speeds ranging from 512 - 2048kbps. Most people are on the 1024kbps speed and monthly usage is not too high (around 200-300GB per line), because most residents are retired. It's a coastal area, so I supply to an additional 30 holidaymakers during peak periods. Holiday usage is almost double though, and I have to get additional capacity for Dec/Jan. I also provide WiFi at 5 Hotspots in the area using a time-based voucher system.

    I do not allow laptops to connect directly to my antennas, except at hotspots, as this slows down the network. All customers must have an installation which costs from R850 and upwards.

    Excluding customer equipment, I'd estimate setup costs to be:

    R105,000 - Antennas, RADIUS server, Hotspot, backup power, cabling etc.
    R20,000 - ICASA licenses
    R7,000 - Mikrotik training course
    R20,000 - Spares and other accessories

    Other setup costs: Time, petrol, labour, tools, vehicle, laptop (for installations), ADSL line installation fees etc.

    i replace around R10,000 - R15,000 worth of equipment on a yearly basis (upgrades, lightning damage, rust etc.)
    Last edited by WirelessGuy; 01-03-2013 at 04:49 PM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by WirelessGuy View Post
    /Snip
    Very helpful post.

  5. #5

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the reply. Planning on attending a course with one of my engineers.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WirelessGuy View Post
    Hi Petrus,

    That depends on many things, including how large the geographical area is that you want to cover, how many customers you want to reach, what speeds you want to offer etc.


    I'll give you an example:

    I provide wireless internet to two villages (about 7km apart) and all the surrounding farms (up to 25km away). There are no true high-points and line of sight is quite a problem with all the trees around, so I use more antennas than would otherwise be necessary (16 separate antenna sites). Most of my antennas around town are situated on customer premises - usually businesses. The equipment is all Mikrotik and I use their User Manager software as my RADIUS server.

    Power cuts are a problem, so my antennas all run directly off of deep-cycle batteries that are charged by intelligent chargers while the power is on. Most can run for up to 5 days without power.

    I had to purchase two licenses from ICASA. The licenses prohibit me from using any of the frequencies in the lower half of the 2.4GHz spectrum, because Telkom uses these for their TDMA telephone network in the area. I therefore use 5GHz for backhaul links and 2.4GHz for around town.

    I supply Internet to around 90 full-time subscribers, of which 20 are uncapped, and offer speeds ranging from 512 - 2048kbps. Most people are on the 1024kbps speed and monthly usage is not too high (around 200-300GB per line), because most residents are retired. It's a coastal area, so I supply to an additional 30 holidaymakers during peak periods. Holiday usage is almost double though, and I have to get additional capacity for Dec/Jan. I also provide WiFi at 5 Hotspots in the area using a time-based voucher system.

    I do not allow laptops to connect directly to my antennas, except at hotspots, as this slows down the network. All customers must have an installation which costs from R850 and upwards.

    Excluding customer equipment, I'd estimate setup costs to be:

    R105,000 - Antennas, RADIUS server, Hotspot, backup power, cabling etc.
    R20,000 - ICASA licenses
    R7,000 - Mikrotik training course
    R20,000 - Spares and other accessories

    Other setup costs: Time, petrol, labour, tools, vehicle, laptop (for installations), ADSL line installation fees etc.

    i replace around R10,000 - R15,000 worth of equipment on a yearly basis (upgrades, lightning damage, rust etc.)
    Where are the bandwidth costs :-)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddief1 View Post
    Where are the bandwidth costs :-)
    I suppose that will depend on which Company I use for my backbone.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by petrus344 View Post
    I suppose that will depend on which Company I use for my backbone.
    And if it's DSL or fiber I hope it's fiber!

  9. #9

    Default

    It definitely will have to be fiber. I think the latency on copper will be to high under high load + on fiber you get a much better ratio per user.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by petrus344 View Post
    It definitely will have to be fiber. I think the latency on copper will be to high under high load + on fiber you get a much better ratio per user.
    It's more about being able to scale than latency..have you got that part of the network sorted yet? It is probably the single most NB part.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddief1 View Post
    Where are the bandwidth costs :-)
    He asked for start up costs, not running costs

  12. #12

    Default

    Expensive stuff and not too much profit to be made to be competitively. Although easy money once setup

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by koeksGHT View Post
    Expensive stuff and not too much profit to be made to be competitively. Although easy money once setup
    Unfortunately it takes money to make money

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WirelessGuy View Post
    I supply Internet to around 90 full-time subscribers, of which 20 are uncapped, and offer speeds ranging from 512 - 2048kbps. Most people are on the 1024kbps speed and monthly usage is not too high (around 200-300GB per line), because most residents are retired. It's a coastal area, so I supply to an additional 30 holidaymakers during peak periods. Holiday usage is almost double though, and I have to get additional capacity for Dec/Jan. I also provide WiFi at 5 Hotspots in the area using a time-based voucher system.
    Don't know about you but that is a LOT of data IMHO

    Btw, what kind of figures do you charge your clients?
    Trade for the lowest fees in South Africa, register for an EasyEquities account today by clicking here now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by YingYang View Post
    Don't know about you but that is a LOT of data IMHO

    Btw, what kind of figures do you charge your clients?
    Definitely...the retired couple must have Skype running constantly with their family's overseas.

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