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Published on November 5th, 2013 | by Alexis Argent

4Gon Interview Ubiquiti on the NanoBeam, airFiber 5, airFiber 5U, MultiLane RF Technology and Plans for the Future

Craig Herrett from 4Gon Solutions speaks to Ben Moore, Vice President of Business Development at Ubiquiti Networks.

Craig and Ben discuss recently unveiled products like the airFiber 5, 5U and NanoBeam range, new technologies and future plans for Ubiquiti.

Craig Herrett: Broadcasting from various countries around the world using wireless technology, this is 4G Uncovered, a 4Gon Solutions UK podcast. I’m Craig Herrett and joining us today is Ben Moore, Vice President of Business Development at Ubiquiti. Thank you for joining us today Ben!

Ben Moore: Thank you, thank you for having me. I appreciate you having me on and I look forward to talking to you.

CH: No problem. So, after the recent unveiling of several new products, we are very excited about the NanoBeam range. We’d love you to tell us more.

BM: Yeah, so the NanoBeam product line, we’re also very excited about it. There are actually two types of NanoBeam. One of which I think customers are fairly familiar with which will include our inner feed technology which has been a part of our NanoBridge product line. So we’ve released two products in the 5GHz band that will actually replace the NanoBridges and those will also be called NanoBeam. The improvements there over the NanoBridge are basically enhanced mechanicals so it will be much easier to put together and work with, easy removal of the feed and basically, better mechanicals than the previous NanoBridge design. It will also offer a higher output power on the radio. So that’s one piece of the NanoBeam product line with that Inner Feed technology. The second one, which I’m very excited about is the fully integrated NanoBeam product. I think of this CPE as the ultimate CPE. It has full tilt capabilities, bubble alignment, also maximises antenna gain with a very efficient antenna design, a faster processor and uniform beam width. So we’re very excited about the NanoBeam product line. I think it’s going to be the ultimate CPE for our WISP customers.

CH: All of us here at 4Gon are very excited about them as well, they look fantastic. The airFiber revolutionised the point-to-point backhaul market, and now Ubiquiti are back with the airFiber 5 and the airFiber 5U. So, can you tell us what that means for the future of the market?

BM: Yeah, so the airFiber 24 has been very well received in the market. We’re excited to introduce the airFiber 5. I think the airFiber 24 has really become the market leader in that 24GHz band, due to the price and the performance of the product. I think the airFiber 5 will follow well in that same line. We’ve seen a lot of limitations that customers run into when running the airFiber 24 at distance, and we expect the airFiber 5 will be able to overcome those shortcomings. We do still expect that for shorter distance links, in the couple of mile ranges, especially in Europe as the power requirements are lower for 24GHz. The customers will continue to use the 24GHz band and our 24GHz airFiber product, but for those longer distance links, we think the airFiber 5 will really change the game out there and provide customers with another choice and be able to get long distance links and still have high throughput. The airFiber 5 will come in two different versions, the airFiber 5 and the airFiber 5U. The airFiber 5 will cover the 5.4 – 5.8 band depending on which region you are in. The airfiber 5U will have the ability to go from basically 5.7 to 6.2GHz. So for areas where those other bands are available, you will be able to use that product. Anyway we expect the airFiber 5 to do very well, we’re very excited to get it out on the market.

CH: They look like fantastic products again, I mean just the speed that they can get through the air is just unbelievable.

BM: The speed and range, its a very unique design. Our airFiber team has done a great job in being able to put out a product like this and be able to accomplish that kind of speed and throughput.

CH: The EdgeRouter series has been really popular with our 4Gon customers so please tell us more about the new additions to this range.

BM: Yeah so we’ve just launched another two products which means we’ll have 4 products in that product line, the EdgeRouter Lite, the EdgeRouter PoE, and the two new products that we’ve just released are the EdgeRouter Pro-8 which basically, the EdgeRouter Pro-8 has 6GB ports, 2GB SFP combination ports and is capable of doing 2 million+ packets per second and also rack mountable. So, it’s a kind of higher end product in our EdgeRouter EdgeMAX line that we’re excited about, and the EdgeRouter-8 which is basically the same product but 8GB ports and no SFP ports. Anyway both of those products were scheduling to start shipping this quarter and expect great things from both of those products.

CH: They’ll be on our website very soon then!

BM: Yes, yes definitely.

CH: The UAP-AC has been out for a little while now, so could you tell us the advantages of this over the other UniFi products such as the UAP, UAP Long Range and UAP Pro?

BM: Yes, so the UAP-AC has been out for a little while now, and volumes are definitely picking up. The main things you are going to get out of there is just additional speed, dual-band with the 802.11ac standard. As you see more and more clients coming with the 802.11ac standard you’ll get additional bang for your buck basically. More speed on the same frequency.

CH: The UAP Outdoor+ is the first product to ship with multi-lane RF technology. Could you explain a little more about multi-lane RF technology?

Yeah, so the UAP Outdoor+ we started shipping this product around about 2 months ago and so far we have received great feedback from those that have deployed them in the field. Some from large deployments, in fact in some cases where customers have been using the UAP outdoor standard and have been happy with the product but have replaced it with the UAP Outdoor+ and saw some significant improvements in overall performance. The features of the multi lane RF enhancements are increased wireless capacity and throughput in high density areas, so areas where there is a lot of people and a lot of noise. Optimised operating channel, that enhances colocation of access points so again where you’re putting in multiple APs, you’ll see a significant improvement.

So basically what multi-lane RF does is isolates signals on the operating channel and rejects RF interference using specialised circuitry which is a high selectivity receiver. So the multi-lane RF technology removes up to an additional 30+ dB of adjacent channel interference through the active filtering design. So it’s great again for areas where you’ve got a dense deployment with multiple APs, you’ll see a much improved performance with that UAP outdoor+ and we’re excited to see that technology continue to grow and our other product lines.

CH: So that’s a truly excellent development.

BM: It is, it is. I mean, these are the main challenges that our customers face, is interference. We’re operating in unlicensed bands, so anything we can do to help minimise or mitigate that interference is a very good thing.

CH: AirVision. What’s the latest with airVision? Any additional plans?

BM: Yeah the AirVision product line we’ve had out for two+ years and I would say it has been a bit slower to begin with but we’re starting to see a ramp up in volumes there with the release of our airVision 2 software and so we’re excited to see that starting to really move and we expect to see great things as we continue to release new hardware and also additional software updates in the coming months. In fact, I see that product line really starting to take off as we get some of these new products out there and also additional software updates.

CH: I must admit we’ve had a lot of requests for the airCam Pro.

BM: Yes, I know there is a very large customer base anxiously awaiting our new cameras.

CH: And also, obviously Ubiquiti has burst onto the scene, had a fantastic effect, so what have you guys got planned for the future? Any more new products on the horizon?

BM: Yeah, I would say that’s what we do. I would say, obviously I can’t get into specifics as far as any one product line that we’re set to launch, but we recently did a launch with some of our new products. We talked about some of our roadmap for our airMAX product line. You know, implementing AC and also parts of that Multi-Lane RF. But, what I can say is that each one of our product groups, platforms, have new products being worked on. You look at airMAX, you look at airVision, you look at EdgeMAX, airFiber and mFi. Each one of the product lines as well as airFiber has new products being worked on by the group that runs each one of those platforms. So, there is a lot of work being done on a lot of products that are yet to come.

CH: I really want to thank you for your time today, Ben. It’s been really interesting, and excellent for me personally so I hope the 4Gon listeners appreciate that.

BM: Thank you 4Gon for having us on and thanks for taking the time. I look forward to talking to you guys again in the future.

CH: No problem. This has been a 4G Uncovered podcast brought to you by 4Gon Solutions. For more information, please visit www.4gon.co.uk

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