WISP Access Point Throughput Insights: Know Your Network

Title image for WISP Access Point Throughput Insights blog

by | December 23, 2019 | Networking

Access Point Throughput: Know Your Network Part 3

Welcome to the third part of Preseem’s Know Your WISP Network blog series! Using the latest and greatest insights contained in Preseem’s new Fixed Wireless Network Report, this series presents findings on the real-world experience of fixed wireless subscribers, networks, and equipment. Last time, we analyzed access point (AP) market metrics according to AP count, subscriber count, and model type. Our analysis produced some interesting insights, such as the access point market share by a count of APs and subscribers. In addition, we identified the types of AP models used most frequently by subscribers.

Today, we continue exploring all things fixed wireless by examining a handful of AP throughput insights. Our analysis will answer the following questions:

  • What is the typical access point upload throughput?
  • How does AP upload throughput compare across different AP models?
  • What’s the typical access point download throughput?
  • How does AP download throughput compare across different AP models?

Upload Throughput

Throughput refers to the network capacity (in bits/sec) received or sent by each active subscriber in a time period. It’s important to note that measuring throughput outside of peak times provides little insight into the subscriber experience. That’s because networks are not loaded with subscribers during non-peak times. As a result, our analysis will focus on throughput metrics taken from the busiest times of the day across access points. The figures below provide rates of AP upload throughput across the overall market and different AP models.

Graphs showing access point upload throughput

At first glance, you might question why these numbers are so low compared to those contained in access point spec sheets. It’s important to remember that these are real-world throughput numbers, as observed by Preseem. Consequently, these numbers are not representative of the highest figures attainable by each type of access point.

For example, take an extreme scenario where Preseem monitors a model T access point, capable of an upload throughput of 100 Mbps. Now, if every model T access point observed by Preseem has only one subscriber, then, regardless of its 100 Mbps throughput potential, the reported rates across all model T APs will seem low. This is what makes analyzing throughput performance difficult, as demand is often lower than what the network is capable of.

There are still some interesting insights to glean from the above figures. In particular, most WISP access points deliver less than 10 Mbps of upload throughput during the times of the day with the highest demand. The nearly empty 20 and 30 Mbps buckets are also very interesting. One possibility for these empty buckets is that only a few of the most modern AP models deliver rates of upload throughput beyond 10 Mbps. It’s also possible that there’s something unique about the deployment model associated with access points that achieve a high rate of upload throughput.

Download Throughput

When conducting an analysis of access point download throughput, we encounter the same predicament as before. That is, the rate of throughput is lower than what each AP is actually capable of. However, the results of our analysis still provide valuable insights into AP download throughput. In addition to showing the overall rates, the figures below also show rates of download throughput based on AP model.

Graphs showing access point download throughput

The data above illustrates that over 42% of deployed access points deliver less than 10 Mbps of real-world download throughput. Comparatively, just over 11% of access point download throughput occurs at rates above 40 Mbps. These results are quite surprising! However, when looking at individual AP models, and considering the results of modern equipment, a very different pattern can be seen.

See how organizations within the fixed wireless industry are already using the insights contained in this year’s report. Read the Telecompetitor article here.

Are you interested in seeing other fixed wireless insights?

Preseem’s Fixed Wireless Network Report contains 30 fixed wireless figures spanning across 26 pages. Best of all, it’s free!

Preseem is a one-of-a-kind Quality of Experience (QoE) monitoring and optimization platform, designed specifically for fixed wireless networks. Learn more or sign up for a free 30-day trial.

Subscribe to the Preseem Blog Newsletter

Stay in-the-know and get fresh content delivered to your inbox once a month.