Projects: Wireless

WiMAX: Schlotzsky’s

I was asked to research WiMAX and other high-bandwidth wireless technologies and spent two weeks or so getting up to speed in that arena. The president of the company challenged me to deploy a pilot program within 30 days. I was hired to be the single point of responsibility for this arena which had previously been shared by a group of people but not been a focus for them. The eventual goal was to develop a suite of products and services to provide the retail stores in the Schlotzsky’s chain with all their telecommunication needs and much more. This was to include replacing all the land lines, POTS lines, credit card processing, remote monitoring, telephony and more.

WiMAX @ 230 ft

WiMAX @ 230 ft.
Photo by Lorin Rivers

I served as the lead of the entire program, choosing vendors, suppliers, locations for equipment, researching conditions, managing the project from start to finish.

With the insane deadline I had to hit the ground running and leverage any relationships that had been developed by the group whose project I had been given responsibility for. I contacted all the vendors in this space and got the most effective response from Alvarion. They were very eager to move the project forward and were willing to do what it would take to do so.

I performed site analysis, researched PoP locations, located likely structures for antenna mounting, performed line-of-sight analysis, identified best building for the head end, negotiated with the building owners to obtain roof rights, coordinated with Alvarion and their recommended VAR on the correct equipment for our requirements, coordinated installation of radio-to-network infrastructure at the client side (3 locations installed, 1 additional tested but not left in place), coordinated installation of antennas and radios at the PoP and client sites.

I used a combination of tools from websites with geographic data, to conventional office tools (word processing, spreadsheets), to graphics tools such as Photoshop, to GIS tools, and anything else I could access to achieve the goal.

Successfully deployed the system and it was operating at 98% of absolute perfection--22mb/s and 1 ms pings.

Unfortunately, the day after the system went live, the board at Schloltzsky’s fired the President (who was the primary driver of the project). That was a real disappointment!

Today, the equipment is still in place and being used by a large office space firm as backup.

WiFi: Less Networks

Recruited by President to launch organization providing software and services for venues offering free WiFi and the customers they serve. I was heavily involved in branding and product direction.

WiFi: Geekery

I installed Linux on my Linksys WRT54G WiFi router—I needed to because the Linksys does not provide WiFi without DHCP/NAT. One of my clients uses a hardware-based VPN and it hands out the DHCP stuff.