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YDI Shows WISP Know-How

Equipment manufacturer Young Design, Inc. will debut its workshop for wanna-be wire-free Internet service providers (WISPs) at its company headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia on June 15.

Michael Young, YDI president and founder, plans to present a workshop entitled High-Speed Wireless Internet Access on License-Free Bands, and he promises that the course is platform-agnostic, not catering to either the Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) or Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) camps. That is, until the class is over. Then Young said attendees are free to speak with YDI staff about vendor-specific equipment and methodologies.

No SS bias allowed
The class is a technical overview of the how to implement license-free wireless equipment to link clients over the 2.4 GHz band and connect with backbones in the 5.8 GHz band.

The class is broken up into two sessions—morning and afternoon. Young will speak about the different elements that make up a WISP—from system design and configuration to antenna and dish ranges to the effects of inclement weather.

Classes like this aren't a new idea, in fact they've been around as long as entrepreneurs have been setting up Wireless points-of-presence (WiPOPs) in towns and cities across the nation. But a great majority of the classes lump together the whole spectrum of wireless applications, from Bluetooth and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) to 802.11b and everything in between.

In fact, YDI's first class was held in April, after the fourth annual Wireless Web 2001 convention was cancels a week before it was scheduled to convene. Not surprisingly, Young said, the conference was canceled due to a lack of interest and fees that were out of the reach of the service segment.

"One of the reasons the Wireless Web 2001 didn't go was because they were asking $200 or $500 to attend and it cut across such a wide swath of wireless Internet technologies and focuses on different market sectors," Young said. "Most people are only interested in one part, so they were saying 'We're not going to pay $300 to see one presentation, it just ain't worth it.' People in WAP weren't interested in license-free radios and the license-free folks weren't interested in WAP."

Price is right
YDI officials sent out a call to the community when it found this out and managed to snare 25 people to attend its class on putting together a WISP. Young expects a much bigger crowd this time around, and as for the attendance fees, he doesn't see how a wireless hopeful could pass up YDI's presentation.

"For the price we're charging, its almost free," said Young. "You could go to vendor-specific training and expect to pay several hundred dollars. Unfortunately, such a seminar is usually geared towards selling that vendor's product. The YDI training is radio neutral."

The class may be an inexpensive proposition for most people—YDI charges customer $49 and non-clients $195—but the company is certainly expecting a windfall on the back end in the form of wireless equipment sales.

"I have been talking to new and experienced WISP operators for over three years and have learned what most all the issues are. This class is the formal compilation of the hundreds of questions and issues that come up again and again" Young said.

"One way or another, WISPs have to learn this stuff. Many do it the hard way—on their own," he added. "Those that come to my presentation will get most of what they need to know in one comprehensive session."



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