New ISP Needing help with equipment selection

I have narrowed down to using Cambium products to launch our WISP. Please provide suggestions about the following: We want to maximize our limited budget.

  1. Routers - which manufacturer, and how many to use for an estimated 5000-10000 subscribers. Is just one router in the network sufficient to carry the load?
  2. Switches - do you suggest we use the cnMatrix from Cambium?
  3. Access Points - what’s your take on the ePMP, cnPilot, and the PMP 450 products? Which should we start with as a new ISP?
  4. Which subscriber modules (SMs) do you recommend? Can other Vendor SMs interoperate with Cambium APs?
  5. What bandwidth do you recommend to serve 1000, 5000, and 10000 subscribers respectively?

Any other suggestion you can provide for a novice like me will be greatly appreciated.


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Hello Asamoah,

  1. what you need first is to plan the coverage of the area to cover and see how many access points you need. Rourters will be used in your NOC and towers too. To connect 5000 users, you need a well defined NOC with at least two to four ISP routers for traffic reception, redistribution and redundancy.

  2. For switches, you can go for Cambium cnMatrix switch 24 to 48 ports

  3. After planning, with you budget, you can either use the ePMP or the PMP 450m/PMP 450i depending on the client density capacity you want to provide and also range.

  4. Depending on the Access Point you are using, if you go for ePMP 3000, I recommend you the Force 300-25 for good service

  5. You will not connect 5000 client on the first day but progressivelly, hence you can start with 50 to 100 Mbps and grow you bandwidth slowly while optimizing you expenses and income.

If you are willing, I can guide on the planning, Radio coverage study, radio selection and point to point links study optimization between towers.

Note, to reach 5000 to 1000 clients, you will need many tower and point to point links (PTP 670, PTP 820S) for tower to tower communication or backhaul links.

Let me know.

Sincerely yours,

Niragira Olympe

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Hi Niragira,

Thank you so much. I appreciate your response. I am certainly open to the assistance you have promised to get me up to speed on this. My ISP will be based in Kumasi, Ghana. To do an ISP in Ghana is a challenge, but it can be very profitable if I can overcome those challenges. Right now, I am getting a ridiculous quote for bandwidth. For example, MRC for 500 Mbps is $8540, and 1000 Mbps is $14175 with a one-time setup cost of $12000. As you suggested I’ll connect subscribers progressively. In a situation such as this, how much minimum bandwidth can I allocate per subscriber to at least make them happy and not degrade my services?


Hello Asamoah,

I thank you for your reply.

  1. Actually, you need to consider which type of customers you want to connect, as with my experience in the wireless industry in Africa, small offices 1-5 people tend to have around 10 devices connected at the same time and depending on the work, they can use at least 5 Mbps. If they are software programmers, or they work on heavy applications (Graphic Design, Archicture, remote collaboration), they can need 10 Mbps and beyond.

  2. If you have an organization with 10-20 people, do not hesitate to start with 10 Mbps, 15 Mbps or 20 Mbps while considering the work load.

  3. Some particular organizations like Universities due online learning programs, NGO can easily take beyond 20 Mbps internet to reach 40 and 50 Mbps.

  4. Let us include residentials, you can consider to offer them packages starting with 5 Mbps because, people nowadays work from home including students.

You need to study the market well.

We will keep communicating for more details shortly.

You require to know your preferred type of clients or market segments.

Sincerely yours,

Niragira Olympe

Hello Sam,

I have an ISP in Ghana called iBrowse and we use Cambium through our infrastructure.
Website is We have used only Cambiums since inception and we are good.

Email me on and I will share my phone contact with you then I can walk you through.

Just to answer you, we use CISCO Routers and Switches, we use ePMP AP’s and SM’s
We serve more numbers than you have asked about and I can teach you some tricks for Ghana.

Hi Niragira:

I thank you for your advice. Please respond to the last email I sent a couple of days ago.


Routers: you can never go wrong with cisco.
Switches: see routers, ebay is your friend.

Epmp is a nice cheaper alternative to the 450 series, but you will either have to add sectors as you populate or upgrade eventually. Keep epmp population on the lower side, once you get to 3/4 capacity add a sector.

Idealisticly you want a router per tower (we have a router and a switch per tower, cheaper than hwic cards). Since you are looking at 10000 subscribers, do not even consider l2(bridged) backbone, go full l3 routing with your choice of IGP and you will want to have eBGP peering with your partner networks. You would do better to have a couple of networks you connect to, the more the better and as you grow try to peer the traffic away rather than pay for transit.

The amount of bandwidth you will need depends on your max offering package, the class of service you are offering (business with sla vs residential) and your planned over subscription rate. A max package of 50mbps/10mbps and an over sub rate of 5 means you can have 10 subs on a 100mbps connection. You can use this to calculate your needs by splitting down large connections to account for smaller connections. A 50/10 is two 25/5.

Last thing, do not trust the onboard GPS, use packetflux or similar to provide poe and gps sync. Packetflux has two systems for Cambium, make sure you use Cambium Sync gear.

Thanks, Douglas for your invaluable input. Keep letting them flow.

Hello Asamoah,

I responded to you, do check again.

I am waiting for your feedback.

Sincerely yours,


5 posts were split to a new topic: Looking for router that can handle thousands of simultaneous users