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

Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...
Camera Course Summer 2019 - Register Now on Jun 12, 2019
Register for the Summer 2019 Camera Course.  This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology...
Favorite Wireless Manufacturers 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
Many wireless options exist for video surveillance but how are integrator's overall favorites? 170 integrators answered the question: What is...
Avigilon 32MP and 12MP H4 Multisensor Cameras Tested on Jun 11, 2019
Avigilon has released their H4 Multi-Sensor line of cameras claiming "broad scene coverage and high image detail" We bought and tested the...
Directory of 30+ VSaaS / Cloud Video Surveillance Providers on Jun 07, 2019
This directory provides a list of VSaaS / cloud video surveillance providers to help you see and research what options are available. 2019 State...
Smart CODEC Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 03, 2019
Smart codecs are now nearly a standard feature in IP cameras, but our statistics show integrator adoption has not increased at the same rate. In...
Verkada Favorability Results 2019 on May 29, 2019
Verkada has taken the industry by storm with the fastest growing video surveillance sales organization ever and a half billion dollar valuation....
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...

Most Recent Industry Reports

HID Mobile Tested on Jun 21, 2019
HID Global is one of the largest access brands, but their mobile access has had challenges. Indeed, the company has already restructured their...
Genetec Beats Milestone For IHS #1 on Jun 21, 2019
For years, Milestone has touted that they are the #1 VMS. Now, Genetec has beaten them in IHS rankings. But what is this? Even other manufacturers...
Risk of Amazon Alexa Guard: No Battery Or Cell Backup on Jun 20, 2019
Amazon positions its Alexa Guard Service as a "smart home security system" and says it can help you "keep your home safe". However, the...
Exacq Remote Cloud Access Tested on Jun 20, 2019
Remote cloud access has been missing from most VMSes (including Exacq and Milestone). Now, Exacq, after releasing Cloud Drive Storage earlier in...
Briefcam Buys Frost Award* on Jun 20, 2019
Frost 'awards' are well-known and widely disrespected. Now Briefcam is touting their win. The way it has worked for many years is that Frost...
IFSEC 2019 Show Report on Jun 19, 2019
The UK's largest trade show, IFSEC, is underway and IPVM has been examining what is new and happening at the show. Inside, we cover: Huawei...
Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...
Startup Vaion Launching End-to-End AI Solution Backed with $20 Million Funding on Jun 17, 2019
An EU / USA video surveillance startup, Vaion, founded by ex-Cisco Senior Directors is launching an end-to-end VSaaS platform with $20 million in...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 17, 2019
While face and fingerprint recognition are used regularly for smartphones, it is not as common in physical security. In this note, we examine...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact