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Ben Bradley

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How to select a wireless broadband distributor

Advice for VARs, WISPs and ISPs

wireless broadband distributor buys products from manufacturers and resells them to VARs, WISPs and ISPs. For manufacturers, a wireless broadband distributor often provides many value added services including warehousing, support, financing, training and deployment assistance.

And, the best way to find a good wireless broadband distributor, says John Diem, VP of Sales and Marketing for Fox Valley Internet (, is simply to ask other VARs, WISPs and ISPs.

"Most think of distributors as companies that just move boxes. When you ask other ISPs, you find that's not always the case and that is certainly not why we work with value added wireless broadband distributors," said Diem. "The trick is understanding the distributor's real expertise. Some specialize in moving boxes with extremely low margins while others excel in configuring and supporting multi-vendor solutions with wireless, security and financing options," said Diem.

John O'Hare, CEO for Azotel, ( sells his product through distributors. Azotel manufactures systems that equip wireless internet service providers (WISPs) and cable broadband operators with the technology and automated business processes enabling the build-out of highly profitable networks in both rural and urban areas.

"We want our customers to be able to work with distributors that provide a number of value-added services such as multi-vendor technical support, site surveys, installation assistance, demo programs, logistics, maintenance, broadband deployment planning and link planning services," said O'Hare.

Norm Dumbroff, CEO and President of WAV, Inc., ( a wireless broadband distributor, located in Aurora, IL stresses the importance of due diligence and recommends VARs ask the following questions when interviewing a prospective distributor:

  • How many years has the wireless broadband distributor been in business?
  • Are they committed to the wireless broadband space or is this just a small part of their business?
  • Do they offer technical assistance?
  • Is there a toll-free technical support phone number available?
  • What is their response time for inquiries and emails?
  • Do they provide training seminars?

"When you are selecting a wireless broadband distributor, understand that you are forming a partnership," said Dumbroff (LinkedIn profile). "The good news about working with a value-added broadband distributor like WAV is that we offer access to products plus all supporting services such as multi-vendor technical support, site surveys, installation assistance, demo programs, logistics, maintenance, broadband deployment planning and link planning services."


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Known for wearing plaid and sweater vests before they were popular, Ben Bradley is managing director of Macon Raine, Inc. ( - a management consulting, marketing and demand generation firm for technology organizations. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and was a member of the undergraduate Iowa Writer’s Workshop. His interests include the intersection of technology and marketing. Because he was never very good at sports and doesn’t have many hobbies, his primary interests include the role of marketing on internal technology adoption, micro-finance, military uses of technology and media, self-organizing networks, network and physical security, collaboration and groupware. He frequently lectures his children on a variety of topics. Bradley was raised in Wheaton, Illinois and currently resides in Glen Ellyn, Illinois with his wife, two children and a purebred Latvian Goathound named Stella.