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Wanting to start a 2 way shop

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#41
Back in the mid 70's I managed a MSS and we had to work with customers that were sold a base and three. A lot of the Mot sales guys would tell the customer that they could expect to get "a mile per watt" range. Then we would have to explain to the customer ain't so.


That was the low band motto. Well it was more like 100 ft, 100W, 100 mi. In most farming communities it's pretty accurate though.


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N4GIX

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#42
While nextel may have been another nail in the coffin, Cellular is what killed LMR.
In my case it was the sudden and rapid depression of the oil industry that spelled the death-knell for LMR in South Texas, since nearly 60% of my GESS's business was oil-field related.

Neither Nextel or cellular played much of a part since those services simply did not exist outside of the major cities (Dallas, Houston, Austin, et cetera).

The other major sources of income came from a contract with the King Ranch, Kleberg County, and the town of Kingsville. When the King Ranch began to fall apart shortly after the oil-field implosion, it was only a matter of time. Fortunately I saw the hand-writing on the wall and sold my GESS for a small profit and washed my hands of it back in 1985.

Today, neither South Texas Radio or the Motorola shop exist in Kingsville, having bowed to the inevitable. Even my erstwhile partner to whom I sold my GESS and who also owned the EF Johnson dealership in Corpus Christi, TX is long out of business.
 
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#43
In my case it was the sudden and rapid depression of the oil industry that spelled the death-knell for LMR in South Texas, since nearly 60% of my GESS's business was oil-field related.



Neither Nextel or cellular played much of a part since those services simply did not exist outside of the major cities (Dallas, Houston, Austin, et cetera).



The other major sources of income came from a contract with the King Ranch, Kleberg County, and the town of Kingsville. When the King Ranch began to fall apart shortly after the oil-field implosion, it was only a matter of time. Fortunately I saw the hand-writing on the wall and sold my GESS for a small profit and washed my hands of it back in 1985.



Today, neither South Texas Radio or the Motorola shop exist in Kingsville, having bowed to the inevitable. Even my erstwhile partner to whom I sold my GESS and who also owned the EF Johnson dealership in Corpus Christi, TX is long out of business.


Permian has been a little different. I went through the most recent recession out there. Big companies bring their own equipment (unlicensed 900 MHz SCADA is very popular right now). Then again, if you aren't on I20 you won't have much in terms is cell service outside of city limits. Needless to say, west Texas Motorola shops are still doing fairly well.


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N4GIX

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#44
Permian has been a little different. I went through the most recent recession out there. Big companies bring their own equipment (unlicensed 900 MHz SCADA is very popular right now). Then again, if you aren't on I20 you won't have much in terms is cell service outside of city limits. Needless to say, west Texas Motorola shops are still doing fairly well.
There is still a Motorola shop in Corpus Christi, and the one in Brownsville is still around to covers the lower Eastern Rio Grande Valley. The two of them divided up the Ranch Radio-telephone service that we had set up down there, as it is a critical service and doesn't really cost too much to maintain.
 
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#45
The oil bust of 83 changed the oil industry landscape that never recovered. At that time I was working Telecomm for Cities Service and travelled the world on projects. We had a tech stationed out of Ingleside and another out of Pelican Island, primarily covering the offshore GOM work. Exciting times until it dried up, in 85 I saw the end of the line and went to work for GTE cellular in the Houston market.
 

Rred

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#46
WISP may also be a bad place to invest money now, as the cellular companies have been working on 5G for a couple of years now, with standards and deployment to come in perhaps another two years. They promise 5G will provide all sorts of things, including huge range improvements and much higher bandwidth than LTE.

And with those players competing against you? It could be hard to make a buck.
 
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#47
WISP may also be a bad place to invest money now, as the cellular companies have been working on 5G for a couple of years now, with standards and deployment to come in perhaps another two years. They promise 5G will provide all sorts of things, including huge range improvements and much higher bandwidth than LTE.



And with those players competing against you? It could be hard to make a buck.


Where most WISPs make up is with unlimited data. $65 for a 10 Mbps circuit versus 10 Mbps with a 5 GB cap at $80 a month.

Now, I actually do know WISPs running LTE. Unlicensed LTE will really change the wisp industry when it does arrive though.


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Rred

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#48
Let's see...airtime was a dollar a minute. Four bucks a minute if you added long distance and roaming. And there was no text or data. Then there was SMS (not quite the same as text) which was FREE to receive and a dime to send. And data, well, data just hurt. Then SMS became charged at both ends. Voice rates dropped, long distance disappeared, roaming disappeared for most of us. Unlimited data came, got throttled, went. SMS was replaced by texts, as all calls became digital so using the control channels for "one packet" no longer made sense. And texts were priced at some 5000x the price of voice calls, based on how long that one packet really took to pass through the network. Oh wait, now instead of 5000x they're free too. Hmmm...

About the only thing you can say for cellular pricing, is that everything old is new again. The cellcos have no idea what model to use for profits, so they try 'em all, and what they swear is impossible today, they swear is absolutely necessary tomorrow.

Whether 5G will need to charge for bandwidth, or whether WISPs will charge for it--like some major cable companies already do--doesn't really affect the question of whether it is a good gamble to go up against the path of an 800# gorilla.
 
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#49
Let's see...airtime was a dollar a minute. Four bucks a minute if you added long distance and roaming. And there was no text or data. Then there was SMS (not quite the same as text) which was FREE to receive and a dime to send. And data, well, data just hurt. Then SMS became charged at both ends. Voice rates dropped, long distance disappeared, roaming disappeared for most of us. Unlimited data came, got throttled, went. SMS was replaced by texts, as all calls became digital so using the control channels for "one packet" no longer made sense. And texts were priced at some 5000x the price of voice calls, based on how long that one packet really took to pass through the network. Oh wait, now instead of 5000x they're free too. Hmmm...

About the only thing you can say for cellular pricing, is that everything old is new again. The cellcos have no idea what model to use for profits, so they try 'em all, and what they swear is impossible today, they swear is absolutely necessary tomorrow.

Whether 5G will need to charge for bandwidth, or whether WISPs will charge for it--like some major cable companies already do--doesn't really affect the question of whether it is a good gamble to go up against the path of an 800# gorilla.
Cellular has a long history of charging for bandwidth. Yes, there is assumption that they will continue that. I believe all except for a handful of my customers are served by their cellular service providers at their points of delivery…the data caps are where the ones with LTE service see the current advantage of subscribing to my service (I generally can't match their LTE speeds), where the ones who are lucky to have a 3G signal currently go after the speed.

Technology is constantly changing though. Just like I often take on customers from another WISP who hasn't bothered to get off first generation Canopy gear yet…I've kept up with things a little better than they have.
 
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#50
At one time we had three 2-way shops in town that did work in all of SE Oklahoma. Two of them are gone and the last one is closing up at the end of this year. These were all well established shops.

The 2 way shop is dying.
 
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#51
You need a good bench tech or don't try it.

I started in 1977 as a sales rep for RCA in Houston. Through the years I sold about every brand made. I retired in 2006 after 10 years with a Motorola MSS/Agent/Dealer. I saw the core customers disappear. The major accounts (public safety, manufacturing, education, etc.) Motorola went after direct factory and cut out the dealer except for service, which is bad. I also sold Icom and Vertex which are good lines to sell. You have got to have a tech that can program, make service calls, and do some bench work or you have to send everything back to the factor for repair which is expensive and slow. You have to have a service van stocked with parts. You have to learn how to do the FCC licenses and learn the different agencies to work with. You need to learn radio propagation and know what is best for the customer. You will need to have demo equipment on hand to show and leave for the customer to use. There are probably a lot of things I forgot to mention, but this give you a basic idea of what you have to look forward to.

Hello all, I am in he process of starting a WISP business. It is part time to my full time job as a sysadmin/techcoordinator.

I have been very interested in radio communications for many years and am a ham. I am wondering if anyone has any info about starting a 2 way shop and/or running a trunked system.

There is a kenwood shop 10 miles away and the motorola shops are 50+ miles.

There are a lot of farmers in my area as well as the normal public safety/business customers. Our local public safety is looking for a new system and the local radio shop (that they use exclusively) seems to be hesitant to deploy a modern digital system.

Anyway. Does it take a ton of money to become a reseller for one of the big radio manufacturers and can my business (LLC) apply for licenses for customers.


I am most interested in MOTOTRBO.


Thanks for any help.
 
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#52
I started in 1977 as a sales rep for RCA in Houston. Through the years I sold about every brand made. I retired in 2006 after 10 years with a Motorola MSS/Agent/Dealer. I saw the core customers disappear. The major accounts (public safety, manufacturing, education, etc.) Motorola went after direct factory and cut out the dealer except for service, which is bad. I also sold Icom and Vertex which are good lines to sell. You have got to have a tech that can program, make service calls, and do some bench work or you have to send everything back to the factor for repair which is expensive and slow. You have to have a service van stocked with parts. You have to learn how to do the FCC licenses and learn the different agencies to work with. You need to learn radio propagation and know what is best for the customer. You will need to have demo equipment on hand to show and leave for the customer to use. There are probably a lot of things I forgot to mention, but this give you a basic idea of what you have to look forward to.
I agree with this. Around here it is hard to find a shop (the ones left) that actually do ANY bench service. Everything gets sent in if it isn't swapping a battery, antenna or belt clip. Sad really, but the reality is, you just cant find these types of people anymore that can do this. Even simple repairs. The old school guys are retired. Many of them hang out here and on other forums, they are a great asset and know their sh*t.

As far as Moto, You are correct. Dealers are being cut out with direct factory dealings. They want you to scoop up the scraps.
 
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#53
I agree with this. Around here it is hard to find a shop (the ones left) that actually do ANY bench service. Everything gets sent in if it isn't swapping a battery, antenna or belt clip. Sad really, but the reality is, you just cant find these types of people anymore that can do this. Even simple repairs. The old school guys are retired. Many of them hang out here and on other forums, they are a great asset and know their sh*t.

As far as Moto, You are correct. Dealers are being cut out with direct factory dealings. They want you to scoop up the scraps.
I've seen it as well. May get replacement equipment sales and/or construction labor but not the initial equipment sale…that goes direct through mother /\/\.

With some of the more complexly populated boards, it is getting quite difficult to actually work on boards these days. I know I don't have the steadiness required for board level repairs like that on CP200d, XPR3500 and XTS5000's unless we are just swapping the board as a component. Often that stuff ends up getting depot'd or sent to our in-house depot as it's often cheaper to the customer to pay the flat rate.
 
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#54
I've seen it as well. May get replacement equipment sales and/or construction labor but not the initial equipment sale…that goes direct through mother /\/\.

With some of the more complexly populated boards, it is getting quite difficult to actually work on boards these days. I know I don't have the steadiness required for board level repairs like that on CP200d, XPR3500 and XTS5000's unless we are just swapping the board as a component. Often that stuff ends up getting depot'd or sent to our in-house depot as it's often cheaper to the customer to pay the flat rate.

I agree, board level components are not easy. I was talking more about re-housing, volume controls, channel select controls, Antenna connectors, battery contacts, etc. The things that can be done with a small iron and some brains/skill. We don't have any of that in our area, besides one dealer who does a great job at service. Even board level. But that is rare.

Depot repair can become VERY expensive when it's something simple.
 
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#55
I agree, board level components are not easy. I was talking more about re-housing, volume controls, channel select controls, Antenna connectors, battery contacts, etc. The things that can be done with a small iron and some brains/skill. We don't have any of that in our area, besides one dealer who does a great job at service. Even board level. But that is rare.

Depot repair can become VERY expensive when it's something simple.
Even some of that is becoming difficult. I'll do antenna connectors, housings, speakers, etc. Usually don't have the parts in stock for volume controls or channel select knobs. Most of the customers are running some form of the CP200 whether it be the regular, XLS or d model. Majority of the volume knobs issues I've seen occur with radios still under warranty so they go back to Motorola. My arch enemy with the CP200 line is the accessory connector. Two tabs I just can get into without burning the hell out of the plastic yet we have a ton of the replacement parts in stock so at one point (before I hired on) someone was obviously doing them.
 
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#56
Even some of that is becoming difficult. I'll do antenna connectors, housings, speakers, etc. Usually don't have the parts in stock for volume controls or channel select knobs. Most of the customers are running some form of the CP200 whether it be the regular, XLS or d model. Majority of the volume knobs issues I've seen occur with radios still under warranty so they go back to Motorola. My arch enemy with the CP200 line is the accessory connector. Two tabs I just can get into without burning the hell out of the plastic yet we have a ton of the replacement parts in stock so at one point (before I hired on) someone was obviously doing them.
You do more than most around here, trust me. that's great, keep it up my friend. You can make some money here if you can make repairs like these in house. Usually with a faster turn around, as long as parts are available.
 
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