Ubiquiti AirFiber Gigabit Wireless

By: Ethan Ace, Published on May 06, 2012

Can Ubiquiti translate their success in the wireless market to high-capacity carrier class backhaul? This is what they are aiming for with AirFiber, their latest product, promising "a new era in price disruptive, carrier-class backhaul." In this note, we look at this new release, its applications in surveillance, and how it compares to other options, such as Exalt, Trango, and DragonWave.

Overview

The Ubiquiti AirFiber is a compact point-to-point radio with the following features:

  • 1.4 Gbps specified throughput, at ranges up to 13 km.
  • 24 GHz frequency range, unlicensed worldwide.
  • Built-in AirOS F configuration software accessible by web browser, providing speed and alignment testing, device discovery, and other functions.
  • Specially designed mounting hardware and RSSI signal indicator to allow for one-man installation and alignment.

This image shows the AirFiber, with mounting bracket. The two large, circular portions of the housing contain the integrated split antenna, with electronics behind:

AirFiber is shipping Q2 2012, and is available for pre-order now. A link, consisting of two radios, sells for $2,995 USD online.

Surveillance Applications

The main application for AirFiber in surveillance is backhauling large numbers of cameras, dozens or greater. Most commonly this is needed in municipal, military, or large corporate campuses, and even then are a small portion of installations.

Though higher bandwidth, due to their higher frequency range, 24 GHz radios do not penetrate obstructions. Trees, buildings, and atmospheric effects are much more likely to disrupt signal. High frequency radios are typically mounted high on towers to avoid these issues, which may not be possible in all surveillance systems, or result in additional cost versus using lower-frequency radios.

For lower-bandwidth applications, users will likely not gain much by selecting AirFiber over existing products, such as the Rocket or NanoStation, which are typically priced much lower, under $200. Though slower, they also utilize lower frequency ranges, less prone to disruption by weather and atmospheric effects, which is preferable in surveillance systems, to prevent video loss.

Competitive Options

AirFiber is intended to compete with other carrier class broadband radios, from providers such as Exalt, DragonWave, Trango, Motorola, and others, names which are not often seen in the surveillance market. Instead, these are typically used in high-bandwidth applications by cellular carriers, emergency management agencies, and others.

For gigabit wireless specified products, AirFiber is significantly less expensive than anything currently available. Competitors with lower-cost options, such as Exalt, offer unlicensed 24 GHz radios for around $3,000 per side, making them approximately twice the price of AirFiber, though providing only 27 Mbps of throughput. Others, such as DragonWave and BridgeWave, which may offer gigabit speeds, have list pricing in the tens of thousands of dollars, far more expensive than Ubiquiti.

History and stability are the main advantages other providers may claim over AirFiber, at least for the time being. Due to the critical nature of many high-capacity installations, reliability and stability are key selling points, which Ubiquiti cannot claim, being a brand new platform. However, given its pricing and specifications, along with the strong following gained by Ubiquiti's other products, we expect that AirFiber will have a significant impact on the market.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

IP Camera Installability Shootout 2019 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Dec 09, 2019
What are the best and worst cameras to install? Which manufacturers make it the hardest or easiest to install their cameras? We tested 35 total...
Bosch Budget 3000i Cameras Tested on Dec 05, 2019
Bosch has long had a hole in its lineup for, as it describes, "competitively-priced cameras". Now, Bosch has released its 3000i series cameras...
Budget Covert Cameras Tested on Nov 26, 2019
Covert cameras under $100 are widely available online but are they any good? To see how these models really work in the real world, we bought...
Top 2020 Trend - AI Analytics on Nov 22, 2019
170+ Integrators answered: What do you think will be the top industry trend in 2020? Why? For the 4th year in a row, AI/video analytics was...
Axis "Best Of The Best" 4K Camera Tested (Q1798-LE) on Nov 21, 2019
Axis has released their "best of the best" Q1798-LE bullet camera, touting "4K without compromise" with a large Micro 4/3" image sensor, custom...
Glass Doors and Access Control Tutorial on Nov 21, 2019
One of the biggest access challenges are locking and securing glass doors. Unlike wood or steel doors that can be modified to work with...
Wireless / WiFi Access Lock Guide on Nov 12, 2019
For some access openings, running wires can add thousands in cost, and wireless alternatives that avoid it becomes appealing. But using wireless...
100+ Companies Profile Directory on Nov 06, 2019
While IPVM covers the largest companies in the industry regularly (like Axis, Dahua, Hikvision, etc.), IPVM strives to do a profile post on each...
Pelco Sarix Pro3 Camera Tested on Oct 16, 2019
Pelco has released their Sarix Professional Series 3 cameras, claiming "more security detail in challenging scenes with excellent low light and...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Oct 16, 2019
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator (updated for Version 3.1). The guide below includes instructions, images, gifs, and videos...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Video Surveillance 101 Course Opened on Dec 12, 2019
IPVM is adding a Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the most important terms,...
Verkada Notification Outage on Dec 12, 2019
Verkada is suffering an event notification outage and analytic search failures. Inside, we examine what the issues are, what Verkada told IPVM...
Hikvision DS 2nd Gen Intercom Tested on Dec 12, 2019
With its newest IP intercom, Hikvision proclaims users can 'get full control over an entrance' regardless of where it is installed, home or office...
Honeywell 30 Series Cameras Tested Vs Dahua and Hikvision on Dec 11, 2019
Honeywell has infamously OEMed Dahua and Hikvision for years, but now they have introduced an NDAA-compliant line, the 30 Series, claiming "lower...
"Good Market, Bad Business Models" - Residential Security on Dec 11, 2019
Industry banker John Mack, at his company's annual event, took aim squarely at the problems in the residential security...
IP Camera Browser Support: Who's Broken / Who Works on Dec 10, 2019
For many years, IP cameras depended on ActiveX control, whose security flaws have been known for more than a decade. The good news is that this is...
Acquisitions - Winners and Losers on Dec 10, 2019
Most major manufacturers have been acquired over the last decade. But which have been good deals or not? In this report, we analyze the...
IP Camera Installability Shootout 2019 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Dec 09, 2019
What are the best and worst cameras to install? Which manufacturers make it the hardest or easiest to install their cameras? We tested 35 total...
Viisights Raises $10 Million, Behavior Analytics Company Profile on Dec 09, 2019
Viisights, an Israeli AI analytics startup marketing "Behavioral Understanding Systems", announced $10 million Series A funding. We spoke to...
Disruptor Wyze Releases Undisruptive Smartlock on Dec 06, 2019
While Wyze has disrupted the consumer IP camera market with ~$20 cameras, its entrance into smart locks is entirely undisruptive. We have...