Broadband internet via radio link

moleculoinc used Ask the Experts™
Dear Experts,

We have rented office space in a building with very poor internet connectivity, we would like to purchase our own dedicated broadband internet channel but it seems lie our only option is to use RF link. We're near UCSF campus (409 Illinois, San-Francisco, CA).

We would like to have at least 10Mbit to allow using VNC with remote servers, but we don't need to consume it constantly.

Could you recommend providers we should be looking at?

Are there other reliable options? (4G? Wimax?)

Thank you.
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Although you can get service from Clearwire (one of the first WiMax vendors) in your area, the maximum download speeds advertised is 6 MB.  Furthermore, it is not synchronous, which means for VPN purposes, the upload speeds may affect performance as well.  Plus, in talking to customers of the service, it does not always perform as advertised.  
They have announced plans to migrate to LTE, but do not think they have made that conversion in very many markets yet - certainly not advertising it for the Bay area.

MetroPCS introduced LTE into the area about a year ago, but do not offer data cards for PCs.  I know AT&T announced and LTE modem this summer, but I believe that it is only this month that LTE is working in SF, and even then it is not "official" yet.  Verizon has been advertising LTE in the area, and has an LTE modem (USB connection).  The problem with any LTE service is that performance will vary depending upon how saturated the service is in your specific area (a campus may be a source of many RF users).  Furthermore, if you have many users on the service, you are adding to the volume.  But if you want to go LTE, Verizon is the most mature and stable option.

The good news with LTE is that the technology does support decent throughput, with plans and standards for continued improvement.  Tests in most markets suggest a single user will get a bit better than 10MB right now.  However, these modems are not designed to be used as the upstream connection from a company's router - they are designed for indivduals.  They often support up to five users connected via local WiFi to the modem ... you have to decide if this approach works for you.

In a few markets there used to be providers that used Motorola's Canopy wireless to provide Internet service, but that never proved to be a big success and I don't know of anyone in the SF area offering it anymore.

Have you checked with Comcast for their business class Internet service?  Decent speeds and pricing.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial