InspiAir Releases Case Study on Metropolitan Wi-Fi Network
To be connected wirelessly to the Internet around Helsinki required the user to subscribe to multiple Wi-Fi service providers. Unfortunately this well intended group of independent providers delivered service levels that were regarded as nothing greater than "best effort" grade. This also meant that Wi-Fi in Helsinki lacked true ubiquitous access, failing to deliver greater mobility to users as they moved around the city, in cars or via public transportation.
Enter OCP, a Metropolitan Internet access provider. OCP took a hard look at the market and set out to change the way Helsinki residents and visitors could connect to the Internet. They postulated that by deploying a Wi-Fi network in the city center, providing continuous coverage to both the stationary and mobile user, a richer overall user experience could be achieved at a far more reasonable cost.
Initially, OCP considered deploying a wireless mesh system, but after conducting in-depth financial analysis it was determined that a mesh network’s overall costs of deployment and upkeep would be extremely high. In effect, the cost benefit analysis revealed if OCP deployed a mesh network it would mean risking both the business and the rapid deployment model OCP had developed due to three key factors:
- The Capital Expense (CAPEX) costs to deploy were greater than necessary due to the coverage requirements for installation and deployment of a large number of nodes and access points that were needed to effectively cover Helsinki's densely populated and high concentration of buildings in the city center.
- Ongoing Operating Expenses (OPEX) of these nodes and access points, including the ongoing RF tuning to avoid interference, would cause added complexity and ongoing costs.
- OCP was looking for a full "Broadband over IP” solution that would provide full triple play: data, Voice and video over IP as well as deliver a mobile environment for its planned expansion to mobile users in cars and those riding public transportation. The Mesh system would be limited to stationary "data over IP," in effect providing only a partial solution to subscribers.
As a result of these three issues OCP began looking at other more fiscally prudent and technologically advanced options to the planned mesh network architecture in order to meet their deployment budget and schedule.