From March 19th to the 21st, I traveled to WISPAmerica (WISPA) 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. While I was at the event, I observed a couple of key takeaways. First, this year 480 wireless internet service providers (WISPs) and over 1,000 attendees came together to learn everything they could to better serve their customers. All told, there are over 2,000 WISPs in the US, serving a total of more than 4 million customers.
The key to the success of America’s WISP industry is that all 4 million of these customers have been passed-over in some way by the big carriers. As a result, each WISP has developed a personal relationship with every one of their customers. Right now, WISPs can take advantage of a mix of vendors offering everything from towers, antennas, fiber and all the “stuff” they need to setup service – including financing.
However, they also have to deal with a slew of regulatory challenges. In fact, WISPs spent 0.2% of the total lobbying money of the mobile and broadcast industries combined last year. As the old saying in Washington DC goes, “if you are not at the table, you are on the menu.” Although America’s WISPs continue to fight to serve their customer base, they do so with both hands tied behind their back.
What is striking to me is how expensive it is for WISPs to procure the physical gear they need to turn up their very first customers. Even though some WISPs have only a few customers, the market entry cost is already quite high and increases every day as the technology becomes more advanced.
At WISPA 2019, I noticed that very few vendors were offering products to increase a WISP’s average revenue spend per customer – that is where netsapiens comes in! Once you, as a WISP, have spent the money to build your platform, you need to maximize your average customer spend in order to accelerate growth in the markets you serve.
netsapiens offers an easy way to add VoIP in addition to broadband services, and we do it in a number of ways. For example, some larger WISPs deploy a netsapiens platform exclusively for their own customers while others offer the option for smaller WISPs to share in their platform as a white label reseller. Because all WISPs have the same devotion and dedication to serving their customers, these partnerships have flourished, allowing every WISP to offer these additional services to maximize their revenue per customer. This, in turn, allows them to buy even more towers and antennas, expanding the size of their potential customer base.
In short, while WISPA continues to scream to the government to get the respect and recognition they deserve, the service providers at WISPA 2019 spent spent a lot of time meeting with us. We’re thrilled to say that they recognize that if they listen closely, there are a lot of quiet industry conversations about how netsapiens is helping those who listen and understand make more money. If you’d like to be a part of that movement, contact us with your questions. We’d be happy to answer!