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wizdum

join:2006-11-17
Bangor, ME

[ME] New wireless broadband provider in Maine 25mbit/25mbit!

Trying to get the word out about Redzone Wireless's new service "Redrocket". Redzone will be offering 25mbit down/ 25mbit up wireless internet connections to residential and business users in Maine. Residential connections are $65/month. The service is ready to roll out, but they want to make sure there is sufficient interest in an area before they commit to providing service there. They are asking people to sign up at »www.getredrocket.com. I do not know too much about the hardware involved, but I know they are using Ubiquiti Networks wireless gear, which give good range and low latency.

I am not associated with the company in any way, i'm just a consumer that is ecstatic about the idea of finally seeing some competition in this state. This is the closest forum I could find to post it in, let me know if this shouldn't be here.

»www.getredrocket.com


Dominokat
"Hi"
Premium
join:2002-08-06
Boothbay, ME
kudos:2
Okay I bit. Filled out the questioner.

wizdum

join:2006-11-17
Bangor, ME
Hey, as of right now you have close to a 1 in 6 shot in winning that Roku box, lol. They're having some problems advertising this service. They ran some ads in the Bangor Daily News and got very few responses.


swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
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·VoicePulse
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·RapidVPS
reply to wizdum
Are you sure you arent connected to this service somehow? No big deal if you are. I am confused, is this service actually available anywhere yet? The Roku box thing confuses me...we need to buy it on our own and then submit a receipt for credit on our bill?
--
Usenet Block Accounts | Unlimited Accounts

wizdum

join:2006-11-17
Bangor, ME
Yep, sure i'm not connected, lol. They have very good customer service, so if you have any questions send them an email at info@redzonewireless.com

The service isn't actually available anywhere yet. Although Redzone does have 3 normal tiers that match DSL speeds with way better uploads (see »www.redzonewireless.com) The reason I was given is that they are using new radios made by Ubiquity that are not compatible with their existing network, so they will need a substantial investment in each area that they offer this new service. They plan to roll out the service in areas where they see the demand, which is why I am trying to get as many people to sign up as possible, I really want to see this happen. You would have to ask them about the Roku box, looking at the fine print next to the form, it looks like you have to sign up, then if you purchase a Roku box after you have your service set up at your home, they will mail you a refund for the price of the Roku.
Expand your moderator at work


sashwa
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-29
Alcatraz
kudos:18
reply to wizdum

Re: [ME] New wireless broadband provider in Maine 25mbit/25mbit!

Moved in from the New England Forum.

stevech0

join:2006-09-17
San Diego, CA
reply to wizdum
said by wizdum:

Redzone will be offering 25mbit down/ 25mbit up wireless internet connections to residential and business users in Maine. Residential connections are $65/month.

»www.getredrocket.com
There's no magic in wireless. Only so many bits per second per Hz of RF channel bandwidth. And the latter is really expensive in the FCC auctions. In unlicensed bands, the bandwidth is there but the user and infrastructure power is very restricted, by design.

They may provide 10-20Mbps if they can get 10MHz channels - and in Maine's low population density, spectrum would be cheaper. But that 10-20 is shared among n users. Cable modems have a huge advantage in the number of and size of the channels on the cable, for data. Just the laws of physics here.

wizdum

join:2006-11-17
Bangor, ME
Cable modems may have a huge advantage, but with only 1 ISP in Maine that offers more than 2000kbits/s, the cable company doesn't really have any incentive to build out their network.

I never implied that this was magic. Since this is the wireless forum, you must be familiar the the radios made by Ubiquti networks. They seem to be doing an alright business for themselves, so this can't be too big of a problem. Going from the prices I have been told, they will most likely be using either the rocketdish M5s, or the powerstation 5. They operate on 5.8ghz, with selectable channels between 5mhz, 10mhz, 20mhz, and 40mhz (I am not sure which, if any, of these are restricted by the FCC). These are directional devices, with a vertical beamwidth of 3 degrees, so interference should be low. There is no sharing between users, each user has a direct link to the station.

This isn't some dude out on a ladder trying to make a wireless network, its a real, profitable, company. I think they know what they are doing.

Also, Bangor, ME now has enough signatures, so the service will be coming there soon. I haven't heard anything about any other areas yet.

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
said by wizdum:

These are directional devices, with a vertical beamwidth of 3 degrees, so interference should be low. There is no sharing between users, each user has a direct link to the station.
I'm sure at that price that they won't be doing PtP with dedicated bandwidth. It would be PtMP and the AP (and subsequently, the bandwidth) would be shared amongst the subs. This is "upto" bandwidth, not dedicated.

Also, 5.8 is very LOS so towers may be needed to get above the trees/hills/etc.
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey

wizdum

join:2006-11-17
Bangor, ME
The price actually isn't too bad, $150 per radio. Compare that to the DVR I rent from Dish network that retails for $200, and the HD ones that retail for $400 - $500. The powerstations advertise 50mbit/s, so you could theoretically have two users connect to one powerstation. The Rocket M5 advertises 150mbit/s, so you could theoretically have 6 powerstations connecting to one M5.

They havn't told me anything about towers, but with 5.8ghz, I agree that they will probably need them. I know they have several towers in the area from our old municipal network, not sure if they plan to use them or something different. I was told that the wireless connections will not be shared, and that the amount of users will not have an effect on speeds. Trees, and weather will probably have an effect on the available speed. As for latency, it will be less than 20ms, I was told to expect less than 5ms - 10ms on a decent signal. Considering the best I get from TWC is 35ms, with an average closer to 75ms, that sounds pretty good.

Do you have any information on the FCC regulations for 5.8ghz? From what I have read so far there are none, as you would require an immense amount of power to do any damage. Not related to this topic, but me and a couple friends got some powerstations and are working on a wireless LAN.

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
said by wizdum:

Do you have any information on the FCC regulations for 5.8ghz? From what I have read so far there are none...
You read wrong. The FCC regulates it under Part 15. Max EIRP for a PtMP AP is 36dBm.
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey

wizdum

join:2006-11-17
Bangor, ME
I was just going by what other powerstation users said. The powerstation 5 has no external antenna, and has been certified by the FCC according to 15.247, so we should be safe.

stevech0

join:2006-09-17
San Diego, CA

1 edit
reply to wizdum
said by wizdum:

Do you have any information on the FCC regulations for 5.8ghz?
The Part 15 regulations are not about health/safety- they are to enable spectrum sharing for unlicensed systems by limiting the transmitted signals' power.

The 5.8GHz FCC limitations are very similar to 2.4GHz, in terms of restrictions on radiated (inclusive of antenna gain) power for unlicensed. There's an inherent 6dB disadvantage at 5.8 vs. 2.4GHz.

To do point to multipoint in 5.8GHz unlicensed, the coverage will be somewhat less than 2.4GHz. The game played with the FCC regulations is: The radiated power may increase as the beamwidth decreases, i.e., the more directional the antenna is, the more power you may radiate. This is per a philosophy in unlicensed that spectrum needs to be readily SHARED. So the game is that the subscriber (CPE) device uses a high gain, narrow-beam antenna aimed at the base station. The base station uses a sector or omni antenna which, to be legal, must have much lower radiated power, though this is offset by the CPE's antenna gain.

All this aside, we're talking about 10dB or so of difference between the CPE's gain and the base station, whereas the path length loss even line of sight is 80dB or more.

So no, one can't really do much of a broadband service at 5.8GHz unless there are lots of base stations and you chop down most trees and put the CPEs on the rooftops. The economics of this don't work, as compared to the cost of DSL/cable or even EV-DO.

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
said by stevech0:

The game played with the FCC regulations is: The radiated power may increase as the beamwidth decreases, i.e., the more directional the antenna is, the more power you may radiate.
The letter of the law has nothing to do with beamwidth and everything to do with whether it is PtP or PtMP. Some people may infer otherwise and you can try telling it to the judge.

There is however an exception whereby the CPE in a PtMP arrangement can use PtP EIRP but the AP regardless of beamwidth must always be limited to 36 dBm.
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
Oh, I should mention that UBNT will soon release special beamforming technology that should get special dispensation from the FCC for higher EIRP.
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey

wizdum

join:2006-11-17
Bangor, ME
reply to stevech0
You seem to have misunderstood me stevech0, the FCC question wasn't about Redzone. This is just a personal project of mine, connecting my house to my friends house. It will be point to point. I would imagine that Redzone would have different FCC licenses, since they already have extensive 2.4ghz mesh networks.

I would also like to point out what I said in the original post, that I am just assuming the idea that Redzone is using 5.8ghz Powerstation 5s, or rocketdish M5s based on the prices that they told me, this is entirely speculation. The $150 per radio is for the client, you wont be picking this up with your built in laptop nic. All I know is that they are using products made by Ubiquity, and that each user will have 25mbit/25mbit dedicated to them (no sharing). Their website also states that "a small radio will be placed on your roof".

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
said by wizdum:

...each user will have 25mbit/25mbit dedicated to them (no sharing)...
Again, I don't know what you are basing that on because everything I read talks about "up to" speeds and subs will be sharing an AP.
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey

stevech0

join:2006-09-17
San Diego, CA
reply to LLigetfa

beamwidth - the FCC regulations if you say are law, do limit your radiated power as a function of antenna gain. And that means less than omnidirectional. Now there are of course antennas that are omnidirectional horizontally but narrow-beamwidth on the vertical - a flattened doughnut pattern. To me, the FCC regulations didn't take this into account, but more assumed a parabolic or yagii, horizontally directional. The high gain vertical is counter to the intent of the regulations - that being to discourage long range and thus interference.

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
said by stevech0:

To me, the FCC regulations didn't take this into account, but more assumed a parabolic or yagii, horizontally directional. The high gain vertical is counter to the intent of the regulations - that being to discourage long range and thus interference.
You are assuming intent. Directionality is not written into the regs, plain and simple. You can infer whatever intent you want but the letter of the law is all that counts. If you are are using higher EIRP than 36 dBm in a PtMP setup, you are breaking the law.

Tell it to the judge.
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey

wizdum

join:2006-11-17
Bangor, ME
reply to LLigetfa
said by LLigetfa:

said by wizdum:

...each user will have 25mbit/25mbit dedicated to them (no sharing)...
Again, I don't know what you are basing that on because everything I read talks about "up to" speeds and subs will be sharing an AP.
Sorry I didn't make this clear. I am speaking to a Redzone representative directly through email and via phone, thats where I got the latency information, the idea that they are using client radios made by Ubiquity that cost $150, and the information that the connections wont be shared. The "up to" on their site is referring to signal loss due to weather and line of sight issues.

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
said by wizdum:

...and the information that the connections wont be shared...
Again, with this "shared" thing. I don't know know what your definition and their definition of "shared" is.

I'm very certain that subs will be sharing an AP. They will be sharing a backhaul. How many subs will share an AP is uncertain as is the backhaul capacity. WISPS in this price category would almost certainly be oversubscribing, counting on all subs to not be consuming 25/25 at the same time. What ratio is of this over-subscription is unknown but I would stop short of claiming it not to be shared.
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey

wizdum

join:2006-11-17
Bangor, ME
said by LLigetfa:

said by wizdum:

...and the information that the connections wont be shared...
Again, with this "shared" thing. I don't know know what your definition and their definition of "shared" is.

I'm very certain that subs will be sharing an AP. They will be sharing a backhaul. How many subs will share an AP is uncertain as is the backhaul capacity. WISPS in this price category would almost certainly be oversubscribing, counting on all subs to not be consuming 25/25 at the same time. What ratio is of this over-subscription is unknown but I would stop short of claiming it not to be shared.
What he said, word for word, is that "unlike cable connections, your speed will not be affected by the number of clients connected, or by one person maxing out their connection. You will have 25mbit/25mbit available to you, although the actual speed will depend on LOS and signal quality". Like I said before, with the possibility of 150mbit radios, they could run 6 clients off one AP, and set all the client radios to transfer at a max of 25/25 (the AirOS software ubnt uses has this feature built in).

LLigetfa

join:2006-05-15
Fort Frances, ON
kudos:1
said by wizdum:

said by LLigetfa:

said by wizdum:

...and the information that the connections wont be shared...
Again, with this "shared" thing. I don't know know what your definition and their definition of "shared" is.
Like I said before, with the possibility of 150mbit radios, they could run 6 clients off one AP, and set all the client radios to transfer at a max of 25/25 (the AirOS software ubnt uses has this feature built in).
OK, so finally you agree it is shared. Again, the number of CPEs on the AP as well as the capacity of their backhaul will determine the level of joy, the "up to" limitations not withstanding. It is not typical for a WISP to have only 6 subs per AP so the AP and backhaul are usually oversubscribed.
--
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
From what it sounds like, I wouldn't be surprised if RedZone was setting up a PtP link for every subscriber. Not sure how sustainable of a business model that would be, but that *might* allow for higher speeds like that. Just make sure the radios are on different channels and/or aren't interfering with each other due to low beamwidth.

wizdum

join:2006-11-17
Bangor, ME
reply to LLigetfa
said by LLigetfa:

OK, so finally you agree it is shared. Again, the number of CPEs on the AP as well as the capacity of their backhaul will determine the level of joy, the "up to" limitations not withstanding. It is not typical for a WISP to have only 6 subs per AP so the AP and backhaul are usually oversubscribed.
I dont see how this is "finally agreeing". I said the same exact thing on the previous page, in my 5th post.

raytaylor

join:2009-07-28
kudos:1
reply to wizdum
The ethernet port on the AP radios is only 100mbits. And airmax does a pretty good job with oversubscribing an AP.
I think its almost as good as motorola-canopy's tdma system but so much faster. So you dont get the typical oversubscription problems with 802.11b/g networks.

There also isnt enough spectrum to be able to do an individual link from the tower to each subscriber. You typically dont want more than 3 5.8ghz radios within half a meter of each other.

When they say line of sight and distance being the deciding factor of your speed, i expect that their upstream connection will be the major decider. The AP's are super fast, TDMA based and with a good quality backhaul - that will probably not be an issue.
Also at 5.8ghz, unless you have 100% line of sight, it usually just doesnt work at all.

stevech0

join:2006-09-17
San Diego, CA
said by raytaylor:

I think its almost as good as motorola-canopy's tdma system but so much faster.
Wow. Canopy is ancient and was bad at its onset!
said by raytaylor:

There also isnt enough spectrum to be able to do an individual link from the tower to each subscriber. You typically dont want more than 3 5.8ghz radios within half a meter of each other.

When they say line of sight and distance being the deciding factor of your speed, i expect that their upstream connection will be the major decider. The AP's are super fast, TDMA based and with a good quality backhaul - that will probably not be an issue.
Also at 5.8ghz, unless you have 100% line of sight, it usually just doesnt work at all.
And 5.8GHz is unlicensed, low power limited, and subject to future interference - mainly from rapidly increasing use of 5.8GHz for 802.11n based home routers; in 40MHz bonded channel mode, these can be rather spectrum piggy. Not so much an issue in rural.

The upstream is typically limited by the carrier's choice of traffic shaping and up/down ratio limits in the TDMA slot configuration, and less so by the radio characteristics. The big deal with TDD/TDMA systems like these is the round trip delay time. Large radius needed in rural means long delay time which leads to lower capacity due to frame timing. Some TDD/TDMA systems range is limited by this timing rather than by signal strength.


superdog
I Need A Drink
Premium,MVM
join:2001-07-13
Lebanon, PA
reply to wizdum
I have been following this thread now for the last day or so and I decided to add my $.02 for what its worth?

Look, I use the very same products being discussed in this thread from Ubiquity. I am typing this message and sending it over a Ubiquity Airmax network. To answer the first question being debated about bandwidth, the connection WILL and MUST be shared, UNLESS, they are doing a dedicated point to point link to every single customer. The logistics of using a dedicated link for every user is are insane.

The amount of bandwidth needed for a dedicated 25/25M for even 40 customers at one location would be 1Gig. There is no way that this CO will be able to provide GigE connections to all their towers, especially in ME.

They will need a LOT of towers, as 5Ghz does not work through any type of trees, rocks, dirt or any solid objects. 2.4Ghz works a little bit better and will go through some trees, but it won't go through dirt or rocks. Since ME is hilly and has a LOT of trees, they will need a lot of towers to reach their potential customers, as every radio must have line of sight. That is gonna cost a lot of $$. If you think that they can just put up towers anywhere they want?, they can't, as zoning regs will kill that idea quickly.

Your next thought will be "Why can't they just put their radios on existing towers?". While that may be an option in some locations, the cost to co-locate on Sprint, AT&T etc. towers is insane. In some areas, zoning regs will force the cell CO's to cooperate, but since they really don't like competitors, they will want a few thousand $$ a month along with insane insurance requirements, bonding and a few other crazy things. I know this because as a WISP, I have tried to do this in the past, and once I did the math, there was no way I could get enough users on the tower to break even $$ wise.

The other hurdle they would have to get over is spectrum. Assuming they are using unlicensed bands, there are only 5 usable channels in the upper band of 5Ghz. With current Ubiquity technology, there is no way to find enough spectrum, even if they use 5 mhz channels, that gives them 20 users per tower. But now we have another serious issue!, the Airmax radios can only push 16.25Mb with a 5Mhz channel, and that is under PERFECT conditions, so I guess thats not gonna work either huh? At the amount of $$ they are charging per month per user, it isn't even enough to pay for the bandwidth they are delivering.

With all that being said, trust me, your 25Mb up/down is shared! I wish them the best of luck, as I know if they can stay in business, rural residents of ME will get broadband and the big boys will get some competition, which will hopefully drive down prices?.
--
»www.wavecrazy.net

wizdum

join:2006-11-17
Bangor, ME
Just to add a few things. Redzone isn't focusing on rural areas, they are just focusing on areas where the demand is. In my area, where I can only get "10mbit/0.50mbit" (more like 2mbit with a latency over 200ms to the local co during the day) I am less than a mile from an international airport and military base. I don't live in a sparsely populated area with 10 square miles of land. TWC could upgrade this area easily, but they have no reason to.

We actually have a nice backbone in Maine. There is plenty of fiber running pretty much everywhere, but no one wants to take the chance of hooking up residential areas and having the customer disconnect their service after a few months. I had multiple companies offer gigabit fiber to my house, if it was zoned for commercial.

Redzone has worked through the terrain problems in the past by using the mountains and hills to their advantage. Most areas are more developed in the valleys between hills/mountains, with some type of commercial structure on top of the hill/mountain (ski resort, paper mill, radio station, laboratory, or University). Redzone makes a deal with the owner of the business on the hill, and uses directional antennas to cover the valley below.

In my area, our high school has a separate room that is used as a colocation center for several businesses in the state. Those businesses pay for the T1s and DS3 connections to the building, allowing our town to offer free dial-up to all residents, and cheap broadband through Redzone. We provide the backbone to Redzone at a reduced cost, and a building for them to put a small tower on.

Maine has a low population density, but we have a lot of densely populated areas, they are just surrounded by areas where no one lives. Only around 10% of our population lives in what most people think of when they think Maine.

You make a lot of valid points, so I guess we'll just have to see how it works out. Theres no reason why the Redzone rep couldn't have been lying to me.