2020 was a rollercoaster of a year for the world, and the fixed wireless industry also had a wild ride. On one hand, public health regulations and lockdowns made it difficult for businesses to operate. On the other, industry-wide optimism soared due to the massive surge in demand for connectivity during the pandemic.
That said, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), an advocacy organization with over 1,000 members, continued its great work despite the pandemic restrictions. Overall, the biggest impact the pandemic had was on in-person events. For example, WISPA had to cancel WISPAMERICA 2020 and then significantly curtail its annual WISPAPALOOZA event in Las Vegas.
These events are not only important to generate resources for WISPA, but also provide an invaluable opportunity for the industry to come together. Happily, this year will see the return of WISPAMERICA as an in-person event, now with new safety precautions.
WISPAMERICA 2021: Everything You Need to Know
1. In-Person and Online
WISPAMERICA 2021 will take place both in-person and online this time around. This will give everyone from the fixed wireless industry the opportunity to learn and gain valuable experience. The three-day event runs from April 27-29, with vendors and organizers setting things up on the 26th.
2. Detailed Agenda with Top-Quality Speakers
Like any WISPA event, a tremendous amount of value comes from the variety of sessions. These can include business, technical, regulatory, financing, operational, and other functional areas that are available for participants.
More than 50 sessions will be available in breakout fashion for the attendees to choose from. Here are some of the sessions that we’re most excited about:
- New Broadband Mapping Requirements are Coming: Broadband maps are a key focus area for FCC this year and this session will highlight all the new requirements and how they impact WISPs.
- LTE: Is It Right for Me? To LTE or not is a big business decision for many WISPs. This session weighs the good and bad and what lessons other WISPs have learned from their LTE journey.
- Federal Funding During the Pandemic: There’s a lot of government funding available for WISPs to serve the critical need for connectivity. As a result, it’s pertinent that you know about the new and existing programs on offer.
- Competing Against Starlink, Cable, and Others: WISPs are used to competition from cable companies and other incumbent telcos. Starlink is a new addition to the mix, however, with improved satellite technology and massive marketing resources. As a result, it’s important to know how WISPs can continue to stay relevant. This is a must-attend session!
- Network Monitoring Beyond Up and Down: Traditional network monitoring deals with the status of network elements (APs, routers, SMs) and whether they are up or down (on or off). While this is important, it doesn’t tell you anything about the end user’s real-world experience. In today’s competitive world, it’s important to know whether you’re delivering the best subscriber experience or not. That comes with a proactive approach to network monitoring that’s focused on the subscriber, not elements in your network. Attend this session to learn more about this important technical subject.
3. Networking at Its Best (and Safest)
Sprinkled throughout the three-day agenda are exhibit hall and lunch hours to provide attendees with an opportunity to network. Most WISPs agree that the value of in-person networking is hard to replicate virtually. Also, you can gain a lot from the experiences of other operators as they go through similar challenges. Here’s a useful article written by our friends at VISP.net about maximizing ROI from an event like WISPAMERICA.
And because we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, WISPA and the hotel authorities are making sure that networking will be safe by implementing mask mandates, hand sanitizer dispensers, and guidelines on social distancing.
4. Technology Updates
An integral part of a WISPA event is the exhibit hall, with a full house of the leading industry vendors showcasing the latest products and services to serve fixed wireless operators. This year will be no different!
WISPAMERICA 2021 will see over 50 vendors and exhibitors with wireless connectivity solutions, hardware and software services, and much more. Make sure to check out the exhibit hall layout here to bookmark the booths you’d like to visit. Preseem will be exhibiting our WISPA award-winning Quality of Experience (QoE) platform at booth 521. Stop by to meet us during the exhibit hall times!
5. Must-Attend Event If You Can
WISPAMERICA 2021 promises to be three amazing days of industry information, functional knowledge, networking with peers and experts, and gaining first-hand experience of vendor equipment and services.
If you’re ready to travel or prefer to attend online, WISPAMERICA2021 will provide value that can help you grow your WISP business.