Phased array antenna-in-a-box: is this for real?

A company called Airgain is working on a phased array antenna for Wi-Fi, but this one would sit on your desk says WiFi Weblog. According to the article, the antenna could sit on a desk and pick up signals coming from a rooftop or light pole up to one mile away. The antenna is quite small for a phased array. A company called Airgain is working on a phased array antenna for Wi-Fi, but this one would sit on your desk says WiFi Weblog. According to the article, the antenna could sit on a desk and pick up signals coming from a rooftop or light pole up to one mile away. The antenna is quite small for a phased array. The unit is eight inches tall with a footprint the size of a Post-It note, about three inches square.

As you all know, Vivato makes phased array antennas but they do not sit on desks, at least as far as I know. What makes Airgain’s product even more amazing is that they are targeting the consumer market and if WiFi Weblog is correct, the pricing will be in the $100 range.

Aiirmesh, the wireless ISP that unwired Cerritos, has ordered these antennas from Airgain to improve coverage in parts of Cerritos (customers would install it at their houses). The antenna is designed to pick up signals even in multi-path environments. The net result is that it will work in non-line-of-sight installs, which are common in community wireless networks.

I am almost breathless thinking about this and could not say it better than WiFi Weblog:

If it works as advertised, one could even imagine a self-install kit for Wi-Fi community networks. The customer would get a box, plug everything in, and not worry about anything being mounted to the side or roof of the house – or even pointing the antenna in the right direction! DSL carriers use self-install kits to eliminate the need for an on-site technician, keeping the turn-on costs minimal.

This product sounds very intriguing and I’m wondering if it really works. I have sent an email to Airgain to find out more. If anyone has comments, please post them.

Sources:
WiFi Weblog
Airgain

Comments

  1. There are even more “smart” or “adaptive” antenna systems for WiFi emerging. You mention Vivato and Airgain. There is also Motia’s Javelin product, . Hawking Technologies is going to sell a product based on Motia Javelin. I cannot tell precisely from the press release what it is, but I think it is a range-extending “smart” antenna add-on. The press release is at .

    For rooftop community wireless networks, the promise of the Motia Javelin chip is that you can plug any four antennas into it (we could use four of our 8dBi omnis, for example, or a more exotic mixture of antennas) and it will produce a coherent combination of the inputs on each antenna that rejects signals from 802.11 gear that does not belong to our network, while boosting gain in the direction of a neighboring rooftop network node. The Motia chip will also help “focus” a transmission at a neighboring node. It is not quite as simple as I put it here, but I am pretty excited. Now, if we can just sample a Motia-enabled WiFi card….

  2. Oops. The URLs got botched up. Motia Javelin,
    http://www.motia.com/javelin.htm, and
    the press release, http://www.unstrung.com/document.asp?doc_id=51902