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Stamp Out Installation “Do-overs” With a RF Planning Tool That Lets You “Set It and Forget It”

by | Mar 18, 2021

To remain profitable, the cost of running an ISP must be lower than its revenue, which requires management of both ends — what comes in and goes out.  Efficient operations keep costs low; to keep installs running smoothly, an accurate RF planning tool is ideal.

The co-founder of Ionia Unlimited, Adam Plett knows reducing install do-overs and adjustments allows him to focus time and energy on the things that matter – more installs, solidifying processes, business growth and profitability.

“We’re a new community-based WISP, established in 2019,” Adam said. “And it was apparent early on that making installs as efficient as possible would matter to overall success.”

Inefficiency Costs

According to IDC, a global market intelligence firm, 20 – 30% of employees’ time on average is wasted on inefficient operations. If your annual staff salary amounts to $50,000 and your ISP is like most businesses, you’re paying between $10,000 – $15,000 a year for employees to waste their time.

Stop spending money on wasted truck rolls. There’s an affordable RF-planning tool on the market that can accurately choose the best install location on a customer’s property.

Adam Plett and Keith Merryfield of Ionia Unlimited.

Ionia’s Experience with a RF Planning Tool

Adam founded Ionia Unlimited with Keith Merryfield in 2019. While Keith climbs towers and Adam manages the business and the team does the installs, Adam’s wife Ariel works as the company’s administrative assistant.

The challenge Ionia Unlimited faces is the dense trees that surround the community that the WISP services. In the past, calls for service meant Adam or Keith had to go to the location to determine whether they could service the area, which cost them time and money. A stress-free RF planning tool was essential to establish efficient operations. 

Adam and Keith were already working with Cambium Networks’ reliable radios and became aware of cnHeat, their RF planning tool that was still in development. In September 2019, Ionia Unlimited became one of the WISPs that beta tested cnHeat. Since then it’s been smooth sailing. “We’ve had 200 successful installs since we’ve been using it,” Adam said.

“With cnHeat, there are no adjustments, no reinstalls needed – just set it and forget it.” – Adam Plett

Tower Placement

Adam said that cnHeat’s accuracy makes it possible for him to use it as a tower-planning tool. While he awaits Cambium’s latest 2.4 GHz Tower tool, Adam is using the current tool that plans in 5GHz for new towers.  

“As an RF planner, cnHeat is so accurate that I can use it to plan tower placement,” he said. “I just make a few mathematical adjustments to map in 2.4 GHz, and it works great.”

In the meantime, the team can schedule installs and get to them within a few days, installing up to six new subscribers daily and with no follow-up service calls in 200 new installs. It’s impressive given the size of the Ionia Unlimited team.

“We’re happy with cnHeat. It’s easy-to-use, so cut and dry, that all you need to do is show up, install and leave.”


Adam is looking forward to the convenience of rolling his cnHeat fees into his VISP monthly payments. “It will make things easier for me,” he says. 

“As for what Visp does for me… They have been a HUGE help every step of the way. From getting our network setup, to troubleshooting problems both small and large,” Adam says. “It’s better on my wallet because that’s all included in the service, I’m not being “nickel and dimed” for everything.” 

If your ISP operations could use a boost of efficiency from an accurate RF planning tool, consider cnHeat. Fortunately, VISP’s relationship with Cambium makes it easy to manage and make monthly payments for cnHeat licenses. Contact our Success Team today for details at success@visp.net or call 541-955-6900.

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