Saturday, September 26, 2015

I Tell You, Wireless Backhaul Gets No Respect

wireless backhaul for buyers and sellers

One of my first purchase orders came in 1988 for a link between Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. I was delivering the world's first point-to-point wireless solution for Ethernet, and though it was my design, I knew very little about microwave. After the install, I sweat bullets every time a thunderstorm rolled through, waiting for a 2 a.m. phone call to say that my link brought the hospital's network down. Instead of celebrating a sale to Boston's most preeminent institutions, I was filled with anxiety.

Want to know what happened? Nothing. The link didn't fail once in the eight-plus years it was in service - not from rain or snow, wind or solar flares, not from the recession of 1990, cows farting or the collapse of Communism. And since then, I can tell you that the technology has only gotten better.

After that job we got some good publicity and lots of phone calls. Unfortunately most of them started like this, "Our consultant says that microwave goes down in rain... I understand that snow effects the signal... I hear that exposure to RF energy may be hazardous to our employees... I read somewhere that all the frequencies are taken up," etc., etc., etc. Okay, so I learned that the phone company - who was buying microwave by the truckload, was scaring the bejesus out of anyone else who might want it. I trusted that time would shake out all these misperceptions... 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Bargain Shopping for Wireless Backhaul?

Avoid bargain shopping for wireless backhaul.
I go way back in the point-to-point wireless (microwave) business, having developed the first wireless Internet technology, followed by a string of other firsts and thousands of customer applications. Now given what I've seen, I need to say something about pricing to IT buyers in the enterprise community.

"Resist the urge to bargain shop for wireless backhaul. These days you can buy a PTP link for a song, but though the song seems appealing, it will make your ears bleed."

There are things in life that you can economize on, and others that you wouldn't think that way about. For instance, my son is a lacrosse goalie and when it comes to his helmet and pads, I'm not interested in "a great deal" on protection. I'm looking for the best they've got, and if it's more expensive - within reason, then I'm not ashamed to say that I gain a little confidence in that. And what about finding a surgeon? I've never heard anyone brag that they've found the cheapest one. What you want is a surgeon who's performed the same operation (over and over) on professional athletes and U.S. Senators. 

A corporate data backbone is a main artery of your business, its lifeblood. It's something where you want to know you've got the best of everything - best radios, best installers, best support. Nothing but the best, baby!