ISP Supplies Names Violeta Thompson New Director of Marketing

College Station, Texas: ISP Supplies, a leading provider of high-quality networking equipment, recently announced that Violeta Thompson has joined the company’s marketing team as Marketing Director.

Violeta will be developing and implementing an overall corporate marketing strategy, directly engaging and managing the marketing team, and translating the company’s business objectives into marketing strategies that drive revenue. In addition, she will determine and administer the marketing budget and identify and track key metrics. ISP Supplies is looking to expand its marketing efforts and provide a stronger presence across North and South America.

“We conducted a nationwide job search looking for someone with Violeta’s qualifications and we are elated that we were able to bring her into our ISP family. Her integrated marketing experience and skill set around modern, scalable marketing methods will allow us to capitalize on the strength of the ISP Supplies brand as we continue to innovate and grow.”  said Steve Discher, Owner and Founder.

With over a decade of experience, Violeta comes to ISP Supplies most recently from Dolce Advertising where she served as Creative Director and Strategist. In her role, she has managed and motivated interdisciplinary teams, developed and implemented business strategies, and designed and directed various new client branding campaigns. Her most notable work is in web development that ranges from informative websites to highly configurable e-commerce website and software applications. Violeta holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from the University of New Orleans and is a member of the American Market Association and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

About ISP Supplies: ISP Supplies is a leading provider of high quality wired and wireless networking equipment and services. The company’s 10,000 square foot warehouse provides wireless internet service providers with products from top manufacturers. Its team of experienced trainers has consistently been the choice among notable enterprises and institutions, including the U.S. Department of Justice, Centurylink, and the Smithsonian Institute.

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Source: Blog

MikroTik Optimal Wireless Config for Transparent Point to Point or Backhaul

I am often asked what is the optimal configuration for a point to point with Mikrotik, typically SXT’s.  I would stress that the fewer settings you make, the better the link will work so I don’t recommend tweaking, just set the basics.  Here are screen shots of everything that needs to be set to make a high capacity point to point.  The red boxes are settings that are peculiar to that end of the link and the blue boxes are the settings that must match both ends of the link:

Wireless AP End of Link (also called bridge mode on a point to point)

Station End

ISP Supplies is a premiere MikroTik stocking distributor in the USA and we pride ourselves on offering more than boxes; we also offer knowledge.  Our team is knowledgeable, willing and able to provide technical assistance with any MikroTik device.

 

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Source: Blog

Common Error with Simple Queues in MikroTik RouterOS

Simple Queues don’t work properly…

I have heard this more than once, my MikroTik RouterOS Simple Queues don’t work properly.  In a simple queue, “target” option is the only option that determines the flow direction of a simple queue.  Since the default value is 0.0.0.0/0, leaving it at that value creates an issue.

  • If a target is not specified (is 0.0.0.0/0), all traffic will be captured in the download part of the queue,
    as everything is download for 0.0.0.0/0.
  • This means the queue will not deliver the amount of bandwidth you are expecting.
  • Using the “dst” option is only an additional filter, it doesn’t determine the direction.

I did some tests using different values for target.  First, the incorrect target of 0.0.0.0/0. Notice this is a 3Mx3M queue and we aren’t getting even close to that on download:

Now, I changed the target to the IP of the test workstation. As you can see the queue operates as expected now, about 3Mx3M.

Finally  I changed the target to the interface.  Same result, 3Mx3M:

Set that target, don’t accept 0.0.0.0/0 and your MikroTik simple queues will work as expected.

 

 

 

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Source: Blog

Getting Started With Baicells LTE

Baicells has created a new “LTE How To” for new WISP operators.  As you may already know, Baicells equipment is Plug & Play and by far the easiest LTE devices to set up and add to your current network. Many common startup problems evolve from the operator making too many changes during startup. Keep it simple to start with and tweak settings after the system is live.

The new guide can be found HERE.

One thing you will notice in the guide is that the simplicity of the product is enhanced by the fact that UE’s (CPE devices) and eNodeB’s (Base Stations) must be associated with the new owner’s CloudCore account to operate.   ISP Supplies is the only distributor that automates that process through our custom application, SIMPro. SIMPro allows us to scan the serial numbers of eNodeB’s and the IMSI’s of UE Sim Cards into our database, tie them to your SIMPro account and automatically email them to Baicells for provisioning.  You can even add notes to the devices in the SimPro app.  When your product arrives, it is ready to deploy.

Baicells LTE SimPro

LTE is the future of fixed wireless and you can learn more on my blog.

ISP Supplies is one of the largest Baicells LTE distributors in North America with hundreds of successful LTE deployments.  Our knowledgeable sales engineers are standing by to assist you in designing and deploying LTE in your existing or startup network.  For access to SimPro or to discuss fixed LTE, call us today at 855-947-7776.

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Source: Blog

Installing the TP-Link EAP225 WiFi Access Point and JetStream T1600G-28PS POE Switch

 

This application involves delivering internet access to a number of executive office suites. The MDF/IDF was located in one set of suites. My design criteria were as follows:

1. Simplicity, no controller on site for WiFi. Set it and forget it.
2. Use existing building Cat5e wiring to deliver wired ethernet with POE for phones, desktops and printers, and let everything else be WiFi.
3. Keep costs as low as possible.

The two suites that required WiFi were separated by another suite that was occupied by a different tennant, and did not require service. I anticipated needing two Access Points, one in each suite group, however, the one EAP225 served all areas with great service.  The worst signal measured was a -71 in the far end of the building.  Everywhere else was in the low 60’s or typically much better.  The total distance from end to end was 90 feet.

The products used were:

TP-Link EAP225 Access Point in standalone configuration mode, no controller. These AP’s can be clustered into enterprise class, controller managed networks, or act as stand alone devices, configured directly in their http GUI. I chose the latter.

TP-Link JetStream T1600G-28PS POE Switch – These switches are awesome and work out of the box as POE switches, auto switched using 802.3 standard for POE and POE+. The CLI is just like Cisco IOS.

We used the supplied clips to clamp the bracket to the suspended ceiling. Total time to install the AP, less than 5 minutes.

Next, I ran a premade Cat5e cable through the ceiling to the nearby IDF and attached the plastic plate.

Next, plug in thecable and rotate the AP to lock into place. The switch already sensed the AP and is supplying POE power, no configuration required.

Next, I logged into AP and configured the SSID and WPA2 key for 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.  User and password is admin by default.

Set the SSID and WPA2 key:

Click Save and repeat for 5 GHz radios:

The total installation time for this network, that is, mounting and cabling the switch, mounting and cabling the AP, and configuring was less than 30 minutes.  The diagram and identifying the jacks took the longest, about an hour.

I highly recommend this product due to low cost and high performance.  Installation time is also very minimal due to the simplicity with awesome performance.  ISPS upplies is a Stocking TP-Link Distributor located in College Station, Texas.
Source: Blog

ISP SUPPLIES AND TP-LINK Event Coming Soon in Houston

I am excited to announce that we at ISP are partnering with Tp-Link to offer a free technical training event for networking professionals Friday, May 12, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at The Greer & Lowdermilk Conference Center at 4225 Interwood North Pkwy, Houston, TX 77032. Each attendee will receive a complimentary wireless product from Tp-Link.  More info here http://events.ispsupplies.com

The trainers will be Chris Shipman and Sean Montgomery from TP-Link.  Both are 25 year veterans in high tech fields.

Sean’s background is primarily large scale deployments and working with US and Canadian Service Providers on very large new technology roll outs both in wired and wireless technologies.  

Chris is an expert in the design, development and delivery of advanced technologies to meet enterprises, education, military and government customer demands.  His areas of expertise include wireless, switching, routing, and security.  

The topics covered will be:

  1. A snap shot of TP-Link portfolio
  2. A quick intro into new CAP line up
  3. TP-Link EAP controller setup
  4. EAP discovery process and mgmt. process
  5. Simple Wireless portal setup
  6. Controller tips and tricks (best practices)

We have done several lunch and learn type events in the past but this one will be the largest and the best so everyone here is really excited.  The free TP-Link AP we are giving each participant is also pretty cool.  Come lunch and learn with us!

I hope to see you there.  Hit me back if you need more info.

Steve

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Source: Blog

MikroTik Automatic Failover Two Gateways

There’s a million ways to do this on the wiki and the web but none of them fit my particular application.  Let me explain:

1.  The weak point in my network was an AirFiber 24 upstream from the tower I am connected to wirelessly.  This is the link that goes down in heavy rain causing an outage at our office to PROVIDER1.  We have a backup connection through a second provider that is slower but being 5GHz doesn’t drop in the rain, PROVIDER2.

The network is like this:

[MikroTik CCR1036-12G-4S]
—[RBSXT]—[RBOmniTikU-5HnD[—[AF24]—[PROVIDER1]
—[RBSXT]—[PROVIDER2]

2. Simple floating static routes with check gateway doesn’t help because on PROVIDER1 we never drop our 5GHz connection to the tower, it’s the upstream link that fails.

3. I tried recursive routes and it works but the failover was still lacking and seemed sporadic at best.

4. When failover did occur, the VOIP PBX would hold the connection open through the dead provider and some phones in the office wouldn’t work at all, rebooting the phone was the only solution. We tried a ton of solutions and never got it to work consistently.

The solution that works the best is as follows.  I am using a combination of static routes, firewall rules and Netwatch scripts. Here it is:

The Netwatch script watches 4.2.2.4 (a public DNS server). If it goes down:

  • It changes the distance on the default router to PROVIDER1 to 20 making it inactive.  Now all traffic defaults through PROVIDER2.
  • It emails me that the gateway has changed. Please not you must set up your email server IP, and any authentication in /tools e-mail first.
  • It clears any connections to my VOIP gateway, thereby causing them to re-establish, interestingly calls do not drop!
  • When pings return, it sets the distance on the default route through PROVIDER2 back to 1 making it the active route and then clears all connections to the VOIP gateway again.
/tool netwatch
add comment=CheckCon down-script="/ip route set [find comment=\"\
    PROVIDER1\"] distance=20\r\
    \n/ip route set [find comment=\"PROVIDER2\"] disabled=no\r\
    \n/tool e-mail send to=\"YourEmailAddress\" body=\
    \"Connection with PROVIDER1 Lost, Switched to PROVIDER2\" \
    subject=\
    \"Lost connection with PROVIDER1\"\r\
    \n/ ip firewall connection remove [find dst-address=\"\
    YourVoipGatewayIP\"]" host=4.2.2.4 interval=5s timeout=2s \
    up-script="/ip route set [find comment=\"PROVIDER1\"] distan\
    ce=1\r\
    \n/ip route set [find comment=\"PROVIDER2\"] disabled=no\r\
    \n/tool e-mail send to=\"YourEmailAddress\" body=\
    \"Connection with PROVIDER1 Regained, Switched back to PROV\
    IDER1\" subject=\"Regained connection with PROVIDER1\"\r\
    \n/ip firewall connection remove [find dst-address=\"\
    YourVOIPGatewayIP\"]"

Next we need to ensure we can only ping our test host through the PROVIDER1 connection.  This is done with a static route through PROVIDER1:

/ip route add 
comment="Force test pings through PROVIDER1" dst-address=4.2.2.4 /
gateway=199.21.228.153

Next we need to comment our default routes.

/ip route
add comment=PROVIDER1 distance=1 gateway=199.21.228.137 scope=\
    11
add comment=PROVIDER2 distance=10 gateway=209.112.225.65

Next we need to ensure that no pings to our test ip go through PROVIDER1 only:

/ip firewall filter add chain=output comment=/
"Drop pings to 4.2.2.4 if they go through PROVIDER2" \
dst-address=4.2.2.4out-interface=ether2 action=drop

As I write this it is pouring rain outside and I have observed it go down 3-4 times and even with people on the phone, calls continue and we haven’t lost the network. I am loving this!

Transitioning the WISP to Telrad LTE

The number one concern I have heard thus far before we transition a select group of WISPs (Wireless Internet Service Providers) from WiFI or TDMA to LTE is “How can I afford LTE?” and the question is valid.  The costs are high, very high, astronomically high in fact when compared to the “disruptively priced” gear from others we have enjoyed and loved in the past.  My response to the question “How can I afford Telrad Networks LTE?” is really another question and that is “How can I NOT afford Telrad LTE?”

Think about it this way.  When I was a full time WISP operator, we kept careful stats on the number of calls for service versus the number of installs.  I am not talking about tire kicker calls, I mean people that called, credit card in hand wanting to buy what we were selling. We found that we were only serving 20% of those qualified customers and losing 80%. Seriously, qualified customers, ready to read you their credit card number and close the deal today and agree to pay you every month, same day, same amount, and we had to tell them no 80% of the time?  Why?

Well, I can tell you it was not because we had a line of sight problem, it was because our WiFI and TDMA unlicensed equipment had a line of sight problem.  You see, what had happened is we accepted the shortcomings of the technology and began to believe LOS (line of sight) was the ONLY way.

Fortunately all that has changed and Telrad is leading the charge.  All that remains is a path to take the same gear our competitors, the big cell carriers have relied upon to take our customers, equipment that doesn’t have a LOS problem, and “WISPatize” it.  That is exactly what Telrad is doing.

We are WISPs and we know how to do what others won’t, or can’t or don’t understand and that is serve the unserved and underserved with the most cost effective, creative method we can.

So, as we evolve into the WISPatized LTE model, here’s another way to start small and transition into something huge.   Think about it like this, when you make the switch to LTE, even starting small and begin to crush your competitor’s LOS solution, you will take his customers and the revenue increase will fund the transition of the remainder of your LOS network to NLOS.

In that vein, here’s a solution to get you started small at first and the best part is it doesn’t involve an omini!  It allows nearly 360 degree coverage day one with only one base station radio and two sectors.  Understand it has some shortcomings:

  1. It is not 100% true 360 degree coverage, after all we are using two 65 degree sectors that provide up to 120 degrees of coverage, not 180 degrees.  There will be two pie shaped gaps, but those will get filled soon enough.  Be smart, position those gaps facing an uninhabited prairie or forest.
  2. This solution is not without signal loss.  Splitting the 4×4 MIMO into two 2×2 MIMO sectors will cost you 3 dB of signal.  That’s a lot, I get that.  Remember the rule of 3’s in RF theory?  Every 3 dB doubles your power, remove 3dB and halve your power.

The advantage here is that day one, one base station, two antennas and you have great close-in coverage with antennas you will reuse for Phase II.

One base station, two sectors, 2×2 MIMO

Sectors2

Phase II is to add a second BST and increase your range incrementally and fill the entire 360 degree area with no more gaps.

Two base stations, four sectors, 2×2 MIMO

Sectors2-4

Phase III is to add one or two more BST’s.  With 3 BST’s you are now full 4x MIMO, get back your lost 3 dB, increase your range and increase your density.

Four base stations, four sectors, 4×4 MIMO

Sectors44a

With 4 BST’s you will be able to increase your number of subs on this single tower to something approaching 400 depending on your bandwidth packages.

It’s not a perfect plan but it will work and that’s what WISPs do, make it work.  I hope this helps increase your knowledge and gets the creative juices flowing to transform your WISP into the next generation.

What can I do if my wireless devices don’t roam between my wireless AP’s?

Good question, one I was also asking myself when I set up a large Mikrotik CAPsMAN network. A moving laptop would hang onto a -85 signal when a -70 was available.  It did not make sense.  So, after some research I found some ideas to help you.

When you are walking between access points (assuming they have the same wireless SSID name and same security), you may find that your wireless client, that is your laptop like a mobile phone is still sticking to the distant device and will not roam to the nearest device.

How roaming works:

Roaming is purely a client decision. The wireless client is responsible for deciding it needs to roam, and then detecting, evaluating, and roaming to an alternative AP. WLAN standards bodies (such as IEEE) and industry bodies (such as Wi-Fi Alliance) do not specify when a client should roam, or how the client roams.

So, roaming or not roaming, it is totally decided by your wireless client’s roaming algorithm. Different wireless client vendors’ roaming algorithms are also different and are not generally published.

Resolution:

There is no role played by AP in this client roaming process. So, your best option is to configure your wireless client to achieve fast roaming for you.  Some NIC vendors give some mechanism to control this roaming behavior, specifically Intel.

PC Users

In Intel, it is known as roaming aggressiveness and this setting allows you to define how aggressively your Wi-Fi client roams to improve wireless connection.

Here are the configuration methods on Intel WNIC:

You can go to control panel -> network and internet -> network connection and choose the wireless connection. Right click the wireless connection and choose properties. Click configure and choose Advanced and choose roaming aggressiveness.  Typically there are 5 options. Here are the explanations of these five options:

Lowest: Your wireless client will not roam. Only significant link quality degradation causes it to roam to another access point.

  • Medium-Low/Medium-High: Allow Roaming.
  • Medium: Balanced setting between not roaming and performance.
  • Highest: Your Wi-Fi client continuously tracks the link quality. If any degradation occurs, it tries to find and roam to a better access point.

Mac Users

It is still possible on the Mac, just not as elegant.  Open a terminal window and type the following command all on one line then Enter.  You will need the administrator password of course since this has to run as the root user:

sudo /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A/Resources/airport prefs joinMode=Strongest

This should get your device to drop a weak AP when a stronger signal is available. This will work with any AP setup, Ubiquiti, MikroTik, etc.  Happy roaming!

“WISPatizing” LTE

This is a letter from Patrick Leary at Telrad, I thought worth sharing.

We all know LTE has first been created for the needs of giant mobile operators first. That means the LTE enhanced packet core (called the EPC in LTE-speak) includes a host of features fixed operators may NEVER need, like translating diverse 3G backends into a standardized LTE core. Who wants to pay for that? Not me and certainly not you. As well, being mobile centric first, LTE out of the box EXCLUDES certain things fixed operators like and use, such as Layer 2 services.

Being the first and so far ONLY company out there in the LTE space mainly focused on the fixed space, Telrad is the tip of the spear trying to innovate and idealize the solution for WISPs and other local and regional fixed-focused operators. It has been a struggle. EPC are things that can run deep into 6 figures and we had to find a way for the economics to make sense for your models.

Complicating this, because we use an SDR platform, Telrad is able to do something no other vendor on the planet has done: offer the EPC as a hardware-less, software feature EMBEDDED into each base station as an option. That’s super cool, meaning smaller operators won’t need to shell out for a full centralized EPC. But, that also means we’ve made our lives more difficult because options are another SKU to manage.

We now think we’ve got it as refined as possible and here’s the key to what we’ve done:

Dividing up the EPC functionality to allow for operators to purchase ONLY the features you need, and allowing that granularity to be applied to EITHER the embedded or the centralized EPC models.

So what’s been made granular (and priced much smaller per function)? These are things that in the traditional LTE world are often found as individual appliances. Our centralized core can include them all in one appliance for 1/10th or less of what traditional EPCs can cost. Now we’ve even made it MUCH more affordable than even that, by taking the subsets of EPC functionality and providing them as distinct SOFT modules that can be purchased ala carte into either the embedded or centralized Telrad EPCs. Here are examples:

– Don’t want AAA or need Radius? Fine. We now have a feature called iHSS, which allows MAC level authentication.

– Want to use your Radius, but NOT use our implementation? Don’t get iHSS. Instead get the IWK module, which enables internetworking with an external Radius AAA server.

– Planning ONLY to do best effort or apply a single policy across all subscribers? Fine, no need to have the PCRF functionality of an EPC.

– Want to implement distinct and varied service flows and other QoS services? We’ll offer iPCRF as a module.

These are examples. If you used all the functionality, it would still not cost you any more than how things were first initially priced, even if purchased in pieces, so there is no nickel and diming. The difference is, if you need LESS, you’ll be investing less.

Those of you with firm LTE quotes on the table? We’ll need to revisit them, as the numbers will drop. Those with only estimates at this point? That’s worst case and we’ll get you revisions as you get nearer to pulling the trigger.

One last thing….and it is another big one. With LTE comes the entirely new NMS. Better, lighter, simpler, less cost. I’ll be doing another mail on that as soon as I can.