Pulling the Plug, OCTOBER 2012
There was no way to know the actual signal range without having done this experiment. In my literature review, I found that two Meraki MR66s units could communicate 12 mile (20km) apart, so I assumed one unit could easily cover a one mile radius. I was wrong!
The actual range of my unit is around an 800-foot radius (area within solid red circle on map) and I was hoping to broadcast out to at least a half mile radius (area within dashed red circle). So, even though I’ve sunk over $3,600 into the project…
I’m ending the Wi-Fi experiment for the because:
1 – I need a wider signal range to have to the potential of gathering 80 to 100 customers from one broadcast locations. The possibility exists, but I would need to set up relay transmitter throughout the neighborhood and that would be costly. It would also defeat the purpose of rasing the cash flow associated with my apartment complex.
2 – In order to use a freemium business model, where you potentially make money doing a back-end affiliate marketing deals, I again need the potential to gather a lot of emails. The population density within my signal range is not nearly large enough.
Minor reasons for ending the Wi-Fi experiment include:
2 – The cloud system puts a filter to discourage Bit Torrent (peer-to-peer sharing) discouraging illegal downloads. This isn’t popular.
3 – I didn’t want to move forward with the Wi-Fi voice over internet (VOIP) plan because I wouldn’t be able to implement an affiliate marketing business. Can’t send emails to land line telephones, right?
Yes, I’m very disappointed that the project didn’t go better, but I’m glad I tried.
If it would have been successful, I might have been able to pay the monthly mortgage solely with Wi-Fi revenue.
I would recommend that you try this business plan only if:
1 – Your potential location is densely populated and currently has a lot of Wi-Fi users?
2 – Your antenna can be mounted in an area that has clear line of sight between it and your potential users?
3 – You currently have enough users lined to cover your monthly operating cost? Do some surveys up front to gauge the sophistication of your potential customers.
If you can answers yes to all of the above questions, then I say “go for it.”
I’ll try another alternative income experiment next year, so be sure to subscribe to this blog to get the details.
If you’d like more details about the Wi-Fi experiment, please comment below. Also, please comment just to cheer me on. Thanks