This post is going to be long because I'm going to ramble. I'm excited to have found you.
I'm a network engineer for a large school district and I have a slice of Band 41 EBS I'm itching to use to help students.
But I need some help. I stumbled across your equipment spotting section trying to dig up some base station models I could buy and you all look like the experts.
Let me give you some background on what I have and am trying to do.
We are a school district with over over 16,000 students and according to our 80% E-Rate status almost 13,000 of them are economically disadvantaged. And while we support a large enough population to be one in the states top 1% of largest school districts, we are no where near a major city, and internet access for homes and businesses are held hostage to high rates from the single service provider monopoly. High prices and being poor don't mix and many of kids don't have internet at home, only have it their cell if they can afford one, or worse they do have it out of necessity but they eat a few less meals. That is not an exaggeration. E-rate is based on free and reduced lunch applications and so that school breakfast and lunch in a cafeteria are the only meals that many of our students get.
So I've been tasked trying to deliver internet over EBS to mobile buses, community centers, rural locations, and even students' homes in an effort to further support our students and a growing need for a 1 to 1 initiative.
We hold one channel of EBS, 16+6 Mhz, and service students in 2/3 of the county while our twin sister city services the other 1/3 and holds an adjacent EBS channel. There is the possibility we could share. Our WiMAX install is old and broken, but we have a few towers here and there. We have about 25 sites with 10gb owned fiber to each one. Most of city only see about 90ft of elevation change from end to end.
I'm ready to budget out a PoC phase of a single tower where my main wimax install was. I have 5,700 students within 2 miles of this tower.
I have some questions:
So the most important question is can I get my hands on any equipment that Sprint uses for Band 41? I've heard from another school district with an EBS deployment Sprint also uses Airspan Networks Harmony devices as well.
From what I can tell Sprint uses band 41 for dense metro areas so lots of little stations on top of (relatively) short towers or building rooftops to cover an area. Is this correct?
So I'm no expert on cellular technology but I am on wifi and figure 2.5ghz doesn't behave too differently from 2.4 or 5ghz and from what I've researched it's not good at long distance or object penetration. Can I expect to have 1-2 miles of decent object/foliage penetration with a tall enough tower? Do I need to get denser with more deployments?
I'll likely have more questions later. Thanks.