dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
881
share rss forum feed

jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Different speeds for different technologies

Hey everyone... How many of you sell different plans depending on the technology you are using? Up until now, I've had standard pricing for all my customers, regardless of whether they were on 900mhz, 2.4ghz or 5ghz. Most of my 2.4ghz and 5ghz customers are right inside villages where I'm competing with faster DSL, and 900mhz customers are more out of town where options are more limited anyway. I want to split my pricing so I can offer faster speeds on the technologies which support them since I think I'm losing out on plenty of potential customers my limiting my speeds to the lowest common denominator (900mhz).

The problem I'm having is trying to figure out how to market what speeds I offer and for what price. To make things even harder, I have some customers in town that are behind too many trees to get 2.4 or 5ghz to them, and at the same time, I have some people in the middle of nowhere that can give 2.4 from a nearby tower, or sometimes they are on top of a hill and can pick it up from a tower 5+ miles away. So there's not a good way to just make two coverage maps, because it varies too much due to trees and hills.

Do I stop advertising speeds altogether and just make people contact me with an address before I tell them what they could get? Do I advertise both set of plans and say something like "not all plans available in all areas". I just don't want to make things too confusing for the customers.

Anyone have any ideas on how to still market myself without it being too complicated?



Inssomniak
The Glitch
Premium
join:2005-04-06
Cayuga, ON
kudos:2

1 recommendation

We have 2 different speeds. We just ask any interested customers to call us and we are familiar with their install, we can check their speeds, signals, all the other vitals. We won't give our higher speed tier to marginal customers for the risk of degrading the AP, or with APs that have reached their limits (stop sells).

If its a new install we determine it at Site survey time based on signal/speeds

Also we are reluctant to give it out on 900mhz customers. Not a ton of bandwidth there.
--
OptionsDSL Wireless Internet
»www.optionsdsl.ca


jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2

I already have 3 speeds right now do the same thing for determining whether or not customers can qualify for the faster speeds depending on the same variables.

What I'm trying to do is move to two different sets of speed tiers depending on whether they are 2.4/5ghz or 900mhz. About 50% of my customers are 900mhz, so I don't want to just avoid advertising the slower speeds they can get, but at the same time, I don't want to confuse people who are able to get the faster speeds but might not understand the difference between the two.

Does that make sense?

If not, let me be a bit more detailed....

Right now I offer:

768k @ $40/mo
1 meg @ $60/mo
1.5 megs @ $80/mo

Those are the only plans I've offered up until today. I plan on keeping 900mhz customers on those speeds, but I want to move the customers who are on 2.4ghz or 5ghz to the following speeds:

1 meg @ $40/mo
2 megs @ $60/mo
3 megs @ $80/mo

It was easy to advertise 3 speeds and turn someone away from the faster speeds if they didn't have the signal or if the tower didn't have enough capacity. The hard part is now having two sets of speed tiers, and helping customers understand which one they can get without being too confusing.


bburley

join:2010-04-30
Cold Lake, AB

This is an interesting question. I saw the website of one WISP that wouldn't show the plans and prices until you had entered your location.

The website appeared to have a robust back-end and was well implemented. It allowed the WISP to tailor packages for a variety of conditions.

It seemed reasonable, and smart, to implement this system as it was capable of fine tuning pricing to accurately reflect the cost of providing service to a particular area.

The downside was dealing with customer perception. I am sure that it annoyed customers that they couldn't check rates without going to some extra effort. It wasn't that hard to pretend that you were in a different area to compare rates.

The explanation for the variation in rates was kept fairly simple and generic. It wasn't too hard to imagine that rates could also be adjusted for areas based on competition/lack of competition.

Some negative feedback was probably received as the website now shows a set of generic rates with instructions to enter your location for more specific details. I would assume that the rate variation would not be as large as it once could have been, but I am unwilling to spend the time to check a number of areas.

Perhaps this will give you some ideas. I suspect that the hardest part will be providing a clearly explained set of reasons why these differences exist which the customer will buy into instead of viewing it as discrimination.



Inssomniak
The Glitch
Premium
join:2005-04-06
Cayuga, ON
kudos:2
reply to jcremin

I think you are have some trouble with that for sure, customers will be confused. I cant even comment well because my market would never bear those prices

Id figure out a way to bring everything in line, instead of 2 tiers of pricing plans, You are gonna get calls from 900mhz customers (who often dont know or care how the internet gets to their house) why they cant get 3 meg for the same price they are paying for 1.5 meg. Or they wont understand why you cant change their antenna, etc.

But thats my .01 .. Different market, different customers
--
OptionsDSL Wireless Internet
»www.optionsdsl.ca


wirelessdog

join:2008-07-15
Queen Anne, MD
kudos:1
reply to jcremin

I post line of site speeds and below it state non-line of site customers are limited to x speed.


prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2
reply to jcremin

I have too many tiers....

on 900 i have 1.5/512
on 5.8 I have 2/1, 2/2. 5/2, 5/5
on fiber, I have 1.5/1.5, 3.5/3.5, 5/5.

They almost all have different prices which are somewhat in line with the speeds. There's only so much you can do though. Basically, they all have to have different prices and explain to people that that's what they get. All of the wireless speeds are based on reasonableness of the frequencies to handle those speeds.


jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2
reply to bburley

said by bburley:

I saw the website of one WISP that wouldn't show the plans and prices until you had entered your location.

Yeah, I've seen similar implementations (Centurylink, for example) and it would be very hard to put something together that would be close to accurate. I have plenty of areas where I'll have a 2.4 ghz install, 2 houses down is a 900 mhz, and the next house is 2.4 again. Many times I don't know for sure until I'm standing on the roof seeing what the signals are and which exact trees are in the way.

said by bburley:

I suspect that the hardest part will be providing a clearly explained set of reasons why these differences exist which the customer will buy into instead of viewing it as discrimination.

Yes, that is part of the issue. When I first started and had no real income to speak of, I charged different equipment prices depending on what it took to get customers service. If they were on 2.4 ghz, it was usually between $100 and $150. If it was 900mhz the price was usually between $250 and $300. People didn't really mind the prices too much, as long as they were told the correct ones up front so they could make a decision. It was a really tough sell saying that it would cost somewhere between $100 and $300 for equipment. I could explain the difference and they understood. If I said the price was $300, they were thrilled if it turned out to be less, but I know a lot of people walked away from my service without giving it a shot, even though it might have ended up being less. On the other hand, if I said I thought it would be $100 and it was actually $300, well, they were usually less than impressed and many walked away from the service with a bad impression.

The biggest thing when advertising my speeds that I want to avoid is setting the wrong expectation... If someone is expecting the faster speeds, they may be mad if they can't get them. On the other hand, many may not even try if they think they will be stuck on the slower speeds.

jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2
reply to Inssomniak

said by Inssomniak:

Id figure out a way to bring everything in line, instead of 2 tiers of pricing plans

That has been my goal for the last 5 years. I've kept things very simple and only had one set of speeds regardless of technology. Occasionally I've had to deny someone the faster plans because the capacity wasn't there, but at least the base speeds were the same. Ever since I was able to subsidize part of the equipment, I've picked a price right in the middle. I make a little money on the installation for some, lose money on the installation for others, but it was one price and easy to market.

I know you mentioned that your market wouldn't even consider my plans, but that's part of my problem too. With my bandwidth costs starting to drop, the "upgraded" speeds are probably only an incremental stepping stone and I'll most likely be bumping them up again within a year or less. I just don't want to make any moves too big before my network and backhaul is ready for it.

I'm starting to have a really hard time being competitive by limiting myself to only what my 900mhz network can handle. I need to offer faster speeds, but the 900mhz network simply can't handle much more load than it already has. I'm already having issues, and don't have much room to grow on 900mhz. I don't want to invest in or expand my 900mhz network anymore because it just isn't worth it, but as a 900mhz customer leaves, that opens the door for a new one, so I don't want to abandon it either.

So basically this is a matter of making myself competitive where I can be competitive. The faster speeds are a lot more competitive in town where I can service with 2.4 and 5.8. Even the old slower speeds are fairly decent in many of the markets where I only have 900mhz service. So I'm really selling two products to two different customer bases, but all under the same company, and the only difference in the product is the speeds.

Rock and a hard place

jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2
reply to wirelessdog

said by wirelessdog:

I post line of site speeds and below it state non-line of site customers are limited to x speed.

I'm thinking something along those lines too. But I've avoided using the LOS explanation because many people respond with "well I've got a bunch of trees in my yard" yet we can still get some of them on 2.4 if the path is just right.

I'm thinking about marketing my technologies as something like "core" for the 2.4/5.8 customers, and "extended" for the 900's.


Inssomniak
The Glitch
Premium
join:2005-04-06
Cayuga, ON
kudos:2
reply to jcremin

Yea I used to only have one speed too, but then came along of course better technology so we added a 3 meg plan on, and offered it to those access sites only, but over the years we had upgraded or converted our entire legacy network (which we JUST phased out our last .11b PoP this past December!) to technology that would do 3 meg plans all over. Can we offer faster speeds at many sites, yea, but we dont have to, we like to stay in line with the competitions speed packages/prices.
--
OptionsDSL Wireless Internet
»www.optionsdsl.ca


jcremin

join:2009-12-22
Siren, WI
kudos:2
reply to prairiesky

said by prairiesky:

They almost all have different prices which are somewhat in line with the speeds.

And I think rather than defining my tiers based on speeds, I might define them based on prices. I plan on doing fiber later this year too, and across the 3 vastly different speed tiers, I plan on keeping pricing the same, $40, $60, $80.

I'm thinking along the lines of: Here's the $40 package, and then give a couple columns with the speeds. So on the "core" network, you get 1 meg, on the "extended network, you get 768k. I could easily add a third column for "fiber" pricing with whatever speed that ends up being. Then I do the same for the $60 package and the $80 packages.

I'll just have to try putting it together visually and see how understandable it looks on paper. If nothing else, I have a "home show" coming up in about 2 months that I'll have plenty of opportunities to test out different methods on a bunch of different people and see what seems to make the most sense to people.

staregazer

join:2006-12-15
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
reply to jcremin

Perhaps offer bronze, silver and gold packages with different equipment getting different speeds in those packages. Perhaps you could have difference subsidies of the same company stating that you have to go through a different branch to get the service if it requires the more expensive 900 mhz equipment. I have seen some companies have an extra fee for having to use 900 mhz.


rconaway8

join:2005-11-10
Phoenix, AZ
reply to jcremin

That's a great question that is even more critical as Cambium expands the 450 product line into lower frequencies and 802.11ac comes out. Throw in the increased cost and reduced performance of White Space and the issue becomes complicated. I see this issue being more of a problem in remote areas due to the equipment costs.

In residential areas where all of our equipment is Ubiquiti and ranges allowed the use of Nanoproducts, we offered a $99.95 upgrade that included 2 months of free service since the equipment was pretty cheap. We are looking at using 450's in another application but I will look much harder at how to implement that.