I am from Kenya.

I am starting out a WISP in my community to provided internet service to people using WIFI Hot spots in the town and they will be able to login to the service on the go and pay a small token fee using mobile money.

The town has a good population coverage of over 100000+ people on a daily basis.

I would the coverage to be more of outdoor and few buildings for indoor coverage for a start.

In addition there are two universities in this town that i would love to also capture this market share.

Kindly assist i understand how to plan this step by step guide from the planning bit, to the equipment bit and also what should be in the server room.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Hey KaribuBroadBand! Welcome to the forums! What is your background? Do you have a background in business or any computer or network experience? Having some computer/network experience will help tremendously with your new WISP operation. Without that you'll need to probably hire a consultant.

There really isn't a step by step guide for starting one up. I can give you some basic information however... First up you're going to need to find a main internet feed... also called direct internet access or DIA. This is oftentimes fiber, or cable, but can also be a radio link to another, larger, provider. Cambium provides high capacity unlicensed and licensed radio links for these applications.

Next you'll need to decide where your points of presence (POP's) will be. This is where you'd put your access points. Cambium provides various WiFi and fixed point to multipoint radios for this kind of project.  You'll need to figure out how you're going to distribute your main internet feed amongst your POP's. Again, this can sometimes be done with fiber, ethernet, or radio links.

Lastly, you'll need to use a gateway controller to manage your client logins and payment gateway. Cambium really doesn't have something like this ATM... but we use a product called RGNets for this. You'll also need to see if your payment processor or credit system can be integrated with the controller. This is something that you're going to have to work closely with them on and may need a consultant to help you.

I'm sure others in the forum will have some additonal advice for you... but for now, those are the basics! Good Luck!


Thanks Eric For your insightful feedback.

Just to answer some of your questions, Yes i am a Telecommunications engineer by experience and now more focussed on the business side of it.

I have already identified a location for my server room which i will be leasing.

I am interested in going with one vendor in this set up and that is Cambium networks.

I want to only provided wireless internet for the town through creating wifi hotspots.

Kindly advise the best equipment to for ranging from:

1. P2P

2. P2MP

3. APs

4. Network Management

5. Network Planning etc

In addition kindly share a typical network topology for this setup.


Cambium has many products for different use cases, environments, and budgets. You should reach out to your Cambium Regional Sales or Technical Manager (RSM/RTM) to get more detailed information and help on picking out the right products.

You should also take some time reading through Cambium's extensive list of use cases, white papers, studies, and YouTube presentations.

As far as the topology is concerned, I already gave you a rough description of the topology needed.

After you've absorbed all of this, I'd come back to the forums and ask specific questions regarding products you're interested and specific use cases... e.g. I'm trying to get 100 mbps FDX for a line of sight path that's 10km distance, and I want to use the 5GHz band, my budget is $1000 dollars... what's the best product for this situation?

Super! Thanks a lot

I would like to find out. are there any inteference issues i may encounter with any other networks offering WiFi? If so how do i counter this?

or remedy?

Easiest is to use 5ghz for distribution and 2.4ghz for access.

If you are planning for public access wifi, use a hub and spoke design over a linear design. This will save you a huge amount of issues but at the cost of rf bandwidth. If you can, build a mpls mesh and spoke off that for redundancy and bandwidth capacity.

Your data center should have a good enterprise router (cisco 2900 series) with at least 8GB ram, at least two servers with 32gb ram and two 10TB hdds in mirror. Using something like citrix xenserver, you create two dns servers, two log servers and you can place your controller software on a vm (most can be on a vm with a little tweaking). The idea of two dns and two syslog servers is so that you can maintain records by placing those vms on a home server (where they boot and store their hard disk image). If you do this right you can also host a chilli-spot server for public pay-per-use wifi. 

Since you plan to sell wifi subscriptions, I highly suggest that you run a radius server with eap-ttls setup and use a vlan setup to point users to a walled garden if they are not subscribed. This simplifies the wifi encryption part as the encryption is device to headend not device to wifi ap. This also allows you to prevent service theft as rouge aps can not get by the firewall (in the cisco 2900 router) without proper authorization.

You dont need to host your own ntp server, but since the cisco router can, it will reduce unnecessary traffic if you do as all of your network devices can sync to your router which in turn can sync to several good ntp servers. 

There is no one way to build these networks, but all isp networks share a fundamental number of services and basic operation principle

Hello KaribuBroadband,

have you started to work?

How is it working?

Sincerely yours,

Niragira Olympe