Wisper and Tarana Interview captures Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Industry Status

One of the more interesting markets we research is the Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) market.  On June 27, 2022, Wisper Internet CEO and Founder, Nathan Stooke, interviewed Tarana Wireless President, Dirk Gates.  We found the interview reveals some interesting trends underway in the Wireless ISP (WISP) market and the FWA equipment market: how government funding is changing the ISP market and how a new FWA vendor like Tarana Wireless is differentiating in the marketplace.  We encourage anyone interested in WISPs or FWA to watch this June 27, 2022 interview.

Wisper Internet.  I had the opportunity to meet with Wisper’s founder last autumn 2021 when he visited Silicon Valley.  The company currently provides service in various locations across Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.  Stooke explains how it received $220M of CAF2 (US Government broadband funding program) a couple of years ago and visited with Tarana Wireless shortly after receiving word of the award.  He explained how the equipment he was initially trialing was good, even when getting interference from one of Wisper’s competitors.  He contacted Tarana  Wireless to discuss the performance and the Tarana Wireless team said its noise interference was not activated yet.  Shortly after the phone call, Stooke explained, the Tarana Wireless team did an over-the-air upgrade and enabled interference cancellation.  The upgrade that enabled interference cancellation was that throughput more than doubled.

Tarana Wireless. Dirk Gates began his tenure with Tarana Wireless seven months ago. I’ve been researching companies that Mr. Gates has led for nearly my entire career, and it is fun to hear his enthusiasm for Tarana Wireless. Stooke asked Gates what makes Tarana Wireless unique, and he explained that it built its own technology in-house instead of using off-the-shelf Wi-Fi-based chips. Gates was asked what the maximum distance Tarana Wireless’s current technology can go is, and he answered: 100’s megabits 14-15kms. Then Stooke shared some of Wisper’s experince, citing several examples:

  • 10-12 miles is the longest distances (in Eastern Kansas) he’s using on 1,000-foot towers.
  • 2-3 miles gets multiple hundreds of Mbps to customers under all scenarios.
  • Near line of sight, 8.5 miles, 350 Mbps happens all day.

Gates said the company expects its products to be in European markets in 2023.