Radio Active Telecommunications
Radio Active Telecommunications is a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) based in Hoedspruit in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. It provides wireless broadband internet services to thousands of users. It also offers point to-point connectivity for customers with multiple branches / offices.
- As the WISP’s customer base grew, bandwidth congestion worsened & customer service suffered
- Existing solution was unsupported, difficult to manage and couldn’t cope effectively with network growth
- 1X CACHEBOX230 deployed in PBR
- Low cost upgrade to CACHEBOX310 after 4 years
- CACHEBOX: Easy to deploy and manage
- Relieved strain on bandwidth, significantly improving customers’ browsing experience
- Long-term reliability, consistent bandwidth saving
Radio Active initially set up in 2008 serving around 150 customers over a 10Mbps bandwidth link. As its customer base grew, this link became congested and customers would complain of slow browsing speeds.
CEO Bill Fordred decided to set up web caching – using Squid on a general purpose server – to help ease the strain on bandwidth and improve service quality levels.
Concerns about diminishing customer experience
By 2010 the WISP was serving almost 7 times as many customers, and despite a bandwidth upgrade to 180Mbps, congestion once again became an issue.
Bill comments: “We were serving close to 1,000 users and our customer base was expanding rapidly.”
“Every time we had an issue with our caching server, customer services suffered. This often translated to slow browsing speeds for customers – and at times – they couldn’t access content at all.”
Existing caching solution unreliable, unsupported & difficult to manage
Maintaining fast, reliable internet connectivity for customers was a top priority. However, as the number of customers increased each year, it became increasingly clear to Bill that the caching solution in place couldn’t cope with growing traffic demands.
“Our caching solution couldn’t handle all customer traffic effectively and wasn’t saving bandwidth. We also experienced a number of server management issues which often took ages to fix because the solution was unsupported – and we didn’t have the expertise or resource in-house.”
Another bandwidth upgrade was too expensive an option, so Bill began looking for a more affordable way to save bandwidth and ensure high levels of customer service.
He searched online and found that ApplianSys’ CACHEBOX provided the functionality he needed at an affordable price, and would give him the safety net of a support team if required.
In 2010, Radio Active deployed a CACHEBOX230 appliance using policy-based redirection.
With a secure and intuitive interface, it was far easier to deploy, maintain and update than the previous solution.
“CACHEBOX makes caching easier. It’s quickly proven to be a high performance, dedicated caching appliance which – unlike Squid – has been fine-tuned to handle all of our network traffic.”
CACHEBOX: Easy Deployment, Faster Speeds, Room for Growth
Having deployed CACHEBOX, Bill noticed an immediate improvement in the quality of service, and reduced operating costs. CACHEBOX has given Radio Active the ability and confidence to scale its business rapidly.
Bill comments: “Shortly after deploying CACHEBOX, we were saving over 30% of our bandwidth.”
This extra capacity enabled Radio Active to extend its service to more subscribers without:
- Compromising on the quality of service for existing customers, and
- Going through an expensive bandwidth upgrade
The WISP’s customers now get much faster access to content: “Customers instantly noticed the speed increase in content served. Now, we could take on more users without worrying about whether the infrastructure could handle it. CACHEBOX just handled it for us.”
Low Cost Upgrade
Within four years of deploying CACHEBOX230, Radio Active’s customer network had grown threefold to 3,000 users.
Bill comments: “During this time, CACHEBOX230 enabled us to grow our network rapidly, and by 2014 we were taking on even more users.”
As an ApplianSys support customer, Bill had the opportunity to upgrade his existing CACHEBOX solution to match this growth rate at just a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new unit.
“In 2014, we decided to upgrade to a CACHEBOX310 unit, capable of handling even more users,” says Bill.
Radio Active’s ApplianSys Account Manager, Vasco Figueiredo comments: “This larger model (CACHEBOX310) is a better fit for Radio Active’s more recent demand, and will help them to grow even further.”
“CACHEBOX has proven to be very flexible, low cost and easily scalable – It’s one that has worked extremely well for us,” says Bill.
Long-term reliability: Consistent Bandwidth Saving
On average CACHEBOX has saved ~30% bandwidth for the WISP year after year for the past 6 years, reducing Radio Active’s costs and allowing them to grow steadily.
“We’ve consistently saved 30% bandwidth and improved customer services significantly. Our network is far more resilient. All of these things have contributed to an increase in the overall Quality of Service and steady business growth,” says Bill.