Firetide Introduces Lower Cost Line

By Carlton Purvis, Published Oct 09, 2013, 12:00am EDT (Info+)

Over the past few years, Firetide has struggled to gain the upper hand against lower-cost options like Ubiquiti (whose explosive growth impacted the entire market until it became the target of counterfeiters). In fact, our Favorite Wireless integrator survey results showed how critical low cost and inexpensive competitors impacted the market.

Now, Firetide just announced the HotPort 5020, a relatively inexpensive (for them) wireless node, it hopes will get the attention of customers who need wireless mesh networking but do not want to spend a fortune doing it. The company says the 5020 came from feedback from customers who said they felt 7000 series nodes on the edge was overkill for many applications. 

HotPort 5020 Details

Firetide says the 5020 is ideal for devices that require an always on connection like sensors, ITS gear, and wifi networks. “This is about reducing the cost of having Firetide on the edge of a network and we think this will open up a whole range of applications,” says Firetide spokesperson Tim Cox. “Let’s say I want to secure a customer's RV park but I don't want to spend thousands of dollars on nodes at the edge of the network. Now with this price point it’s actually affordable to do that.” 

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Comments (9)

  • Starting price for the 5020-E (single-radio) is MSRP $1395 for U.S. customers.
  • Targeted toward the edge of a network “where you don’t need super high bandwidth". Throughput is limited to 25 Mbps for the 5020-E.
  • Cannot work standalone and needs the 7000 series for connectivity

Good. Glad you put that towards the begining of the article so I knew not to waste my time reading further. Well, of course I did read further, even though all three of those points were bad selling points.

In any case, when Firetide decides to seriously put out a cost competitve wireless bridge, wake me up then.

These prices are a joke. Hardly lower cost. Way more expensive then Ubiquiti and with Ubiquiti you don't have to buy licenses to unlock the full thoughput.

We have slowly been switching out all of our fluid mesh with Ubiquiti and our uptime has gone up and service calls has gone down. Not to mentioin the installers love the product.

Firetide retains one very important sales advantage: Their tens of millions of spending over the last decade has established them as the safe choice for people who do not do wireless but specify it (i.e., consultants :)

This is the first time I've heard of someone moving to UBNT for greater reliability. Price? Sure, but not reliability. I can only assume they've upped their game.

I've been out of the wireless world for about a year, but when I did competitive replacements, it was always the same story. We're sick of Firetide because it's expensive or huge, or we're sick of Ubiquiti because it's broken.

Btw, for comparison, here is Firetide GSA pricing for the current / main 7000 series:

  • 7020 outdoor model - ~$2,500 (license for single radio, no MIMO)
  • License for 2nd radio - ~$400
  • License for MIMO - ~$1,200
  • Antennas separate - $100 to $500 depending on type

Even AvaLAN is less than half of that price for a point to point 100Mbps link.. Unless you swear by Firetide this is a waste of time. Does anyone out there use Firetide on a regular basis? I wonder how much GSA business they get just cause they listed

Anyone heard about or dealt with Cambium? We're looking at them as an alternative to Ubiquiti. They're near the same price, have actual phone support, and not every John or Jane Doe on the street corner is selling them.

This product isn't aimed at securing new customers more so at expanding their offerings to their current base. If your looking at Ubiquiti or MikroTik then your probably not their target demographic. Firetide's issue is that their product is only competitive in a very small segment of the market so they'll have a choice of either continuing to target high-end niche projects or expand into different market segments.

Just to note the 5020 is software limited in speed, so it will deliver the full 25 Mbps / 50 Mbps throughput (UDP or TCP) as opposed to the rest of the line that's spec'd at radio or data rate.

Cambium are an MBO of Motorola's wireless broadband business (Canopy and the former Orthogon Systems product line). Canopy's lunch has been eaten by Ubiquiti in recent years, but they have this month launched a new lower cost solution from the Ukraine (!) to fight back. At the 'professional' end the Orthogon point to point equipment is way overpriced compared to vendors such as Infinet and Radwin but they have a lot of Government / corporate customers who don't seem to mind paying over the odds (just like Firetide I guess).

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