Tales from the Towers Chapter 59: Migration isn’t just for the birds

I’ve been harping on the importance of making sure that whatever 802.11n radio your network is based on, has to be completely compatible with the 802.11n standard. As a husband, and since I don’t often get a chance to say I’m right to my wife, I’m going to embellish on this one. If you are committed to one vendor, then it doesn’t matter even if I said HoHo’s are awesome (which is an unequivocal and absolute fact of the universe, yet still some of you are going to disagree with me). Based on what we have seen the last few years though, and again, the GALACTUS model is shorter range, higher capacity than rural markets, I wasn’t willing to commit to that. Ubiquiti and Cambium both built their products around 802.11n chipsets and then added their special sauce with either an AirMax polling protocol or in the case of Cambium, actual GPS synchronization. But they both maintained true 802.11n backward compatibility options in the firmware by allowing the user to disable proprietary features. After the debacle at the FCC concerning the rule changes in 5GHz along with firmware and hardware delays up the wazoo from manufacturers concerning 802.11ac, I wanted to make darn sure that I had options when it came to our next-generation upgrades and sure enough, it’s going to pay off.

When Ubiquiti went to 802.11ac though, they moved Airmax from software to hardware meaning there was no turning back once you made that commitment, at least as far as I know. They did make sure that their 802.11ac radios could function in AP mode and talk to the 802.11n AirMax clients. This allows a direct migration path if you have a Ubiquiti-based network. It’s a good and logical plan if you never plan to use more than 40MHz in 802.11ac. We have already replaced some of our Rocket 5Ms to Rocket 5AC-Lites. However, by the time we got stable enough firmware to make it feasible (and it’s been working solidly now for a couple months), we were already testing GALACTUS-Destroyer of Wired Worlds. So now you ask, if Ubiquiti has Rocket AC-Lites that are running 2 to 3 times faster than Rocket 5M’s, why spend 7 times more for the Mimosa A5-360 as an upgrade and is it even worth it? Then ask yourself this question, if a fully loaded Ford Edge is a great family SUV, why spend $130K on a Tesla Model X (If you are a car guy and you don’t know what Ludicrous Mode is on a Tesla, then this will go past you like a bullet train, or a Tesla in Ludicrous Mode).

To answer this question, we need to first define where and how GALACTUS is designed to operate. The original model was built to compete with cable. Since we all know cable companies are in the highest density areas, that’s our target. If you want to avoid towers and your brother-in-law isn’t a VP at the power company, then you are using houses on which to place your APs. In those cases, we used Ubiquiti omnidirectional antennas with Rocket M5’s. We also had Rocket M2’s with omnis up there as we were upgrading our original 2.4GHz system, but most of those have come down. So, faced with 2 options, upgrade Rocket 5M’s delivering about 4-8Mbps at peak times with 20MHz channels to Rocket 5AC-Lites using 40MHz for a little more than I’d spend on an Italian dinner for the family, or dip into my Titanium Exhaust for my motorcycle fund and put up the Mimosa A5-360.

No answer yet? Let’s try to stay awake and analyze further then. If we go with the Ubiquiti Rocket AC-Lite, then we will change channel size on the AP to 40MHz. That’s the maximum channel size of both the M series and AC series radios from Ubiquiti. Peak throughput at the AP on a 40MHz channel is going to jump from about 40-50Mbps to 100-120Mbps (we keep modulation levels very high) with all the M clients. We saw users with M series radios go from 4-8Mbps during peak to 10-15Mbps with 40Mhz channels and go from 10-15Mbps to 30-50+Mbps during non-peak. That is a significant jump and normally I’d be thrilled . . . a year ago. The problem is we need 80MHz channels to do battle with wireline and the Ubiquiti 802.11ac products are currently limited to 40MHz.

The reason for moving to the Mimosa A5-360 was simple, we wanted the absolute maximum speed possible which meant 802.11ac and 80Mhz channels. After doing a bunch of back-end upgrades to support this, we hit average speeds around 200Mbps and peak speeds about 340Mbps on Speedtest.net. Even our farthest users with light vegetation issues (the ones we would normally shoot to a different AP in a different direction but we just wanted more test data) were hitting 100-150+ Mbps (windy day meaning the trees were swaying more than Dancing With the Stars).

I can hear it now, 80Mhz channels!!!! Are you crazy??? In my areas we can barely use 10MHz channels and we need a shoehorn, lithium grease, and someone staring at an AirControl screen 24 hours a day to make even that work!!! And why would I trash the entire band for a few users!!!! And are you also telling me that I have to change out all my client radios to get this to work at 80MHz??? Seriously Rory, are you sniffing the white board markers again?

Chill . . .Take a deep breath, grab a Diet Coke and a HoHo, and think back to the fact that the Mimosa A5-360, like the Ubiquiti Rockets before them, were not 150 feet in the air, more like 25 feet. However, we do have at least 3000 houses with cable, DSL, and Satellite indoor APs within 1.5 miles and some of those bad boys are using 80Mhz channels in 5GHz for their indoor APs. Either way, lower height translates to less noise. And now we start getting to the secret sauce.

Ubiquiti omni’s are a clever design, incorporating both vertical and horizontal polarity antennas in one assembly. Mimosa A5-360s (or as they are now being referred to in the industry as Quamni) with their 4×4 chipset, have four 90-degree circular polarity sector antennas to cover 360 degrees or in other words, an omnidirectional pattern which is more uniform than the current dual-polarity omni’s. Instead of horizontal and vertical polarities, circular polarity has two different spins, right-handed and left-handed. There are advantages and disadvantages to both fixed polarity and circular polarity, but I’m going to save that debate for the forums. What I can tell you is that we saw significant signal gains on the Ubiquiti client radios when swapping out Quamni, not only from the Ubiquiti omni antenna, but also when replacing a sector antenna (we are planning future testing on this one as soon as we get the A5-360 18 in). That one caught us off guard a little since the sector should have had 5dbi more gain than the Mimosa A5-360 14. And with the C5’s at slant-45 polarity, there is an improvement in noise.

But wait, there’s more. Since we all now get along with 802.11 compatibility, the Ubiquiti clients will connect right up to Mimosa A5, and I’m assuming the same will be true with Cambium ePMP clients. Man, I’ve been waiting to spill this next one for weeks! The Mimosa A5-360 will talk to Ubiquiti or Cambium 802.11n clients in 20 or 40MHz channel width while simultaneously talking to the Mimosa C5 clients in 80MHz. Let that sink in for a minute. Okay, times up. You set your AP to 80Mhz and set your clients to 20/40 which is as wide as the M series can go, and the AP supports them all simultaneously while still talking to the Mimosa C5 radios in 80MHz. That is just cool no matter how you slice it. Migration problem solved, period. Now slap yourself in the forehead.

Why is the ability of the AP to talk to clients at 20/40/80MHz channel widths important? You can leave radios like a Nanostation M5 Loco, dependable and inexpensive radios that seem to last forever, on 20MHz or 40MHz, meaning you don’t have to forklift the planet to get the advantages of 802.11ac and 80Mhz channels. With the processor limits at the AP with the Rocket 5M, and the port speed at 100Mbps, going to 40Mhz didn’t make much sense. With the Rocket AC-Lite or the Mimosa A5-360, 40Mhz becomes a better option and will improve your airtime efficiency. And if 40Mhz was good, 80Mhz is even better. When you change the AP over to the Mimosa A5, you aren’t going to be thinking 20MHz any longer on your Ubiquiti radios, you will be thinking 40MHz. Keep in mind that the improved signal levels, lower noise, and faster processor mean that you don’t need to upgrade any of your clients to get faster speeds. This is also why we set all our Ubiquiti clients to 20/40 when we installed them. And if you find a single client is actually working worse at 40Mhz due to noise, then set it back to 20MHz. The A5-360 simply says, “No problem, Quamni can play that game (Homey the Clown reference from “In Living Color”).

But what about polling protocols? At peak times, 90% or more of the traffic is going one direction with UDP protocols so RTS/CTS is fine. In that environment, how important is a polling protocol? GPS isn’t needed either on a single AP since it’s . . . a single AP. Am I advocating that neither of these is unnecessary? Of course not. Just not for the migration. I keep coming back that this isn’t a tower deployment yet. But if you are upgrading a single Rocket 5M with 20-60 users with a processor that is at least 20 times faster, losing the polling protocol during your migration period is pretty much a moot point. I guarantee that not only will nobody notice, the immediate speed improvement from a stronger signal, better omnidirectional antenna pattern, higher modulation rates, improved s/n ratio, and a faster AP processor will also be dramatic. It also means less airtime per user (the dashboard on the A5 will show you your AirTime utilization so you can tweak the system to maximize it). This more than overcomes the advantage of a polling protocol in this scenario in the short term.

Do we want GPS sync and TDMA? Of course we do, eventually, for a couple of reasons. Since we can now add more customers at much higher rates on the A5-360, we want it for improved efficiency when everyone is running 200Mbps and uploading their entire life to the cloud on a daily basis. In addition, when we start having multiple A5’s per square mile and we need frequency reuse, it will be necessary to coordinate with other A5s in the same area. But do we need it for transitioning from a Rocket 5M omni antenna combo to an A5? No.

So how does that affect the C5’s which you might be running at 80MHz? Meh. Other than the slower radios using more airtime, it doesn’t. We have about a 50/50 split on one A5 and users with C5’s can still pull 130-150Mbps on Speedtest at peak times. At non-peak times, they can hit 200Mbps. Here is the reality though, nobody even notices. The reason is that none of our clients have indoor APs capable of those speeds. The vast majority of our clients are on AirGateway-LRs with the rest of them on Airrouter-HPs. Those radios are limited to about 25-35Mbps on wireless since they are in 2.4GHz. In the case of the AirGateway-LR, even connecting a device to the Ethernet port directly with the AirGateway-LR in router mode still tops out around 35Mbps. The end result is that very few of our clients even noticed the A5 being installed, except for a couple techies with their own routers.

But what if you have interference issues? Another cool feature, you don’t have to reboot the A5 to change frequencies, it will automatically find the best frequencies or you can do it manually. The Ubiquiti radios will also do that on reboot, but the A5 will do it dynamically, on the fly. Mimosa C5 radios will follow it almost immediately, but the Ubiquiti clients may have a brief outage while searching for the new frequency. If you are rural, this isn’t an issue, but in my neck of the woods, all it takes is for a satellite install next door with its 80Mhz channel and your AP might have to go hunting.

I’ve only touched on a couple of things that the Mimosa A5-360 can do to seamlessly migrate your network to Galactus status and not have to upgrade. Right now, it’s the best omnidirectional option you have and when it surpassed a sector antenna in the same environment, it opened up even more possibilities. Now we are planning a full comparison of the Mimosa A5 against a 30-foot tower (on which we have 3 Rocket 5AC-Lites with RF Armor and 120-degree 19dBi Ubiquiti antennas) with the farthest client at 2.5 miles. In this scenario, we needed more range and upgraded the omni antenna to the sectors. Unfortunately, the wind is a killer in this area, so we are looking for another option and are planning to compare the range of the A5-360 14 with the bigger brother 18 when only 30 feet off the ground. The A5-360 18 is probably better suited for higher altitude deployments, but that’s not the GALACTUS model. The GALACTUS model needs something that can deliver the goods and not bankrupt a WISP in the process. The Mimosa A5-360 does that and it’s just getting started.

Mimosa A5

Mimosa A5

PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Tales from the Towers Chapter 58: Galactus vs. Guerilla Wireless – Our Boy is All Grown Up

About Rory Conaway

Rory Conaway has been in the IT and Wireless Industries for the past 25 years as an author and consultant. He currently operates a growing WISP operation in Southern Arizona. He consults with investors, manufacturers, and WISPs, and develops financial business models for startups. In addition to writing articles in industry publications such as Mission Critical Magazine, Mr. Conaway also writes the series “Tales from the Towers” that can be found on various such as www.triadwireless.net and www.muniwireless.com. He has also engineered several wireless designs such as S.P.I.R.I.T. and Guerilla Wireless as well as building integrated wireless and video surveillance for airport security, municipal and critical infrastructure, SCADA systems, and hotel/MDU deployments.


  1. Just wanted to say thank you for the detailed post, they are fun to read!

  2. Rory Conaway says:

    Thanks. I’m trying to be more Presidential like Trump. I didn’t mention once how the government is screwing up our industry.

  3. I did notice there was less political banter this time ’round. =) Don’t get me started on gubment, it isn’t just WISP industry their screwing up. =) Keep up the great work on these articles!

  4. Hey Rory,
    Could you do an update to your article about how to make money as a WISP? Or help me plan my network? 😛



  5. You fail to mention that Airmax AC product line does NOT have the 802.11ac mode and no interoperability with any other wifi product.

  6. Rory Conaway says:

    Michie, that’s probably not a bad idea. In fact, I’ll make that my next article, thanks. Beyond that, we are growing so fast, I’m having a hard time keeping up with our projects and except for a couple of intriguing requests, have pretty much stopped doing consulting.

    Spectra, I probably should have made that more clear when I said that AirMax was now part of the hardware in the Ubiquiti AC radios. Thanks.

  7. Jonathan says:

    what are you using to back haul to these shorter smaller PoPs?

  8. gah789 says:

    Observations from a different planet. Where we operate there is 1 (!) legal 80 MHz band in the unlicensed 5 MHz spectrum which we can use, so no dynamic channel shifting. Further, there are stringent power restrictions – EIRP <= 30 dB – on this channel. Mimosa appears to rely upon 80 MHz channels for their performance advantage. Maybe this goes down well in the US but in practical terms it disqualifies them from gaining serious market share in Europe and many other parts of the world. Even though they are a US company I have the sense that Ubiquiti have a better grasp of what works in the rest of the world.

    The lesson that I draw from your argument is probably quite different from what you intend. The GALACTUS Mimosa-based high density, cable-competing model has no chance of being viable in our environment. Instead, we need a model to provide, say, 40-50 Mbps to more dispersed clients (thus over longer distances) using 20 MHz channels. This is roughly an order of magnitude improvement in speeds over what most rural/peri-urban users currently enjoy. Maybe someone will compete with Ubiquiti in this game because I suspect that it is a much larger market segment than GALACTUS.

  9. Rory Conaway says:

    Jonathan, for shorter ranges and depending on the area/spectrum/bandwidth needs we are using B5s, B5-Lites, B5cs, AF24’s, AF5 and are also testing IgniteNet and Siklu.

    To your point about the 80MHz channels, you can run 20 or 40MHz and when TDMA comes out, you will be able to do sync which will let you reuse frequencies in an area. That gives it a huge advantage in higher density AP environments that will still fit your model. You will also be able to do MU-MIMO which provides up to double the capacity per area.

  10. Hi Rory, nice article as usual, one question, How many concurrent customers you have seen you can connect to mimosa A5 360?

  11. Rory Conaway says:

    We had about 40 users but we weren’t even tapping the CPU. It barely ran at 1%..

  12. Wow if I can connect 80 uniquiti nanobeam m16 to that A5 360 awould be a grest movement since currently I have 3 rockets M5 to supoort that amount of cpe without issues

  13. Rory Conaway says:

    I was going to run that test today, not so many users but more interested in the distance. You can run that many, it shouldn’t be an issue.

  14. how was the distance test? I was about to buy the new Rocket AC 5 PRISM 2nd generation that is suppose to support Ubiquiti non AC equipment but glad I read your article. Eventhought this Mimosa A5 360 cost 4 times the rocket I expect better performance from mimosa, more users connected and higher throughput. Unfortunately my Wifi Supplier does not have the mimosa yet, it looks until june.

  15. Rory Conaway says:

    I was going to test that today but one of my staff called in sick. May not know until this weekend but I’d guess 3 miles should be pretty easy.

  16. Rory Conaway says:

    We ran the test of an A5-360 14 at 30 compared to a Rocket 5 AC-Lite with AM-5G19-120 antennas (3 of them actually) with RF Armor on them. We saw a 3-5dBi improvement in signal strength in 5.2GHz and 5.8GHz. As soon as I get more A5-360s, the antenna cluster is coming down.

  17. Great, tks for sharing Rory. 3.5 specific questions: I see you are deploying theseA5 360 antennas not in a tower but more on a roof house (Maybe I understood wrong).
    1. What type of agreement do you get with the owners home, do you provide free internet to them?
    2. What happens is that house runs out of power? do you have a UPS and how long it last that UPS?
    3. how do you avoid noise beteen 2 of these A5 360 that are maybe some miles close each to another?

    Thank you

  18. Rory Conaway says:

    1) Free Internet – 99% of the time. In one case with a house we absolutely need, we pay them $50.
    2) Yea, that’s a sore spot. One guy didn’t pay his bill a few weeks ago. I pulled him aside and told him that we will always be there to help if he is having issues but we were down most of the day until our techs got out there with temporary power. It’s important that homeowners know that and more to the point, we are putting in bigger battery backups everywhere we can put in bigger boxes.
    3) Different frequencies until Mimosa gets TDMA working. In reality, we don’t see it really being a problem.

  19. thank you, it looks you are decided to remove sector antenas and replace with A5 360. I will try to test one as soon as those are available in my country (Late June it looks).
    When you talk about putting these A5 360 not very high you mean like at 24feet at most on top of house height or 24 feet from ground?

  20. Rory Conaway says:

    20-30 feet from the ground. But hey, if you can get 24′ from the top of a house, go for it. You want as high as you can get to get up to at least 1/2 mile LOS but go for an extra 10-15 above the house if you can get it. We make sure 1 guy can reach it with an A-frame ladder from the roof or a 30′ ladder from the ground for maintenance.

  21. tks, I thought you said going to high it gets more noisy. Anyway I will try that.
    What about getting the internet to the house where the AP is.
    For this, do you use PTP from the house to a tower or a dish from the house pointing to a sector antenna in a tower?

  22. Rory Conaway says:

    Both, depending on the situation.

  23. Doug Ratcliffe says:

    How are you delivering the bandwidth to the “hub” homes currently? Mimosa B5(lite)? Fiber? AF24? MetroLinq? What’s working in respect to backhauls? I want to get between 500M to a 1G fiber to my tower but I need to be able to deliver this bandwidth in a cost effective way off my tower(s) to the individual “Galactus” locations.

  24. Rory Conaway says:

    We use 5GHz and 24GHz. We are also testing 60GHz but I don’t have any data on that yet.

  25. Hi Rory, are those mimosa A5 360 working awesome, no complaints?

  26. Rory Conaway says:

    No complaints. Still waiting for more though which should start showing up this week or next.

  27. Michie says:

    Hey Rory,

    Do you oversell bandwidth? Let me elaborate, just to make sure I’m using the right verbiage. Say you have a 1Gbps pipeline. Do you only sell 20 50Mbps connections, or only 8 200 Mbps per 1Gbps Backhaul you have, or do you oversell it?

  28. Judy Myers says:

    I second Michie’s request for help getting started.setting up a WISP. I am in a rural area with some vegetation that Mimosa just might work for. It looks to me like houses here are close enough together to make this work. I just need internet service, preferably better and eventually cheaper than the Verizon cellular modem. OTOH, thank goodness we at least have that! SkyNet is available here, but users don’t recommend ti.



  29. Rory Conaway says:

    To get started as a Wisp, start asking questions in the Ubiquiti, Mimosa, and Cambium forums. Also there is book on how to start a WISP on Amazon.

  30. Hi Rory, When is your next tale available chapter 60? I would like to know how those mimosa A5360 toys are performing after 2 months. Specifically I would like to know if you are seeing real improvements on nanostation locos M5 or Nanobeams. Whe I say in reality I mean if you have seen the improvement testing it from the user side not only on what the mimosa screen will show under TX and RX rates.
    I am really interested on this as I have 1 month with the new Rocket Airprism AC in hybrid mode.
    While on the the Airprism screen it shows connections in 40 mhz up to 230mbps for each NSLm5, when I do a speedtest.net on the customer side, the downlink throughput is no higher than 10mbps.
    That issue is realated to beta frimwares as stated on the ubnt forums by other users. Please let me know, thank you

  31. Hi Rory,

    Another great article! Do you have any pictures you can post of a house install? I’m curious to see how you’re packaging the AP and backhaul at a residential location.



  32. Rory Conaway says:

    Kevin, you should join WISP Pics on Facebook where a lot of people post pictures or you can simply ask for them.

    Jorge, I honestly don’t have an answer to the AC products. We started deploying them as a migration product last November, not our best move and it wasn’t until February or March until that stabilized. As for throughput with M clients, it seems to work okay.

    In the one area where we deployed AC products only and are using only released firmware, we absolutely won’t be any more, anywhere. We saw so many random problems, problems with are still dealing with, and yes, your throughput problems. We have no answer other than some issue with firmware or hardware. I believe some of it goes back to the first version of AC hardware and firmware. I think with the current hardware, we are still dealing with firmware affecting throughput and other random issues. Either way, even if Mimosa hadn’t come out, we would have stayed with M series clients until something else came out. At this point though, as soon as we can get Mimosa CPE product, we are pulling those radios out.

  33. Thanks Rory. There are some Mimosa/IgniteNet pics on there. Was hoping to see a hub site with multiple backhaul radios installed. I’ll keep looking.


  34. BrianMN says:

    As the most informative WISPer out there (IMO-and by a wide margin), do you have any insights about CucumberWiFi (cucumberwifi.io) as a management platform?
    As you know, I am a regular lurker looking for (waiting for) the right combination of technologies for a small midwestern city to leap over incumbent cableco – telco offerings and bring mobile IP access as well as fast and cost-effective IP to the premises.

  35. Rory Conaway says:

    Thanks Brian. I’m not familiar with Cucumber. Short term, we are deploying WISPmon although it’s been a little more struggle than we expected. Depending on how that goes, we will either decide long term if it will meet the expected needs of our expansion.

  36. Prosper says:

    Hi Guys, like BrianMN am also trying to set up something in my small african city. Am still a student in IT graduating next year bt i have been studying the trend of the business for over 5yrs in my country. I would like help on how i can set up a metro network for mostly mobile users and eventually set up a telco like Republica. please you can email me on prosperm81@gmail.com. @ Roy if i p?ll this off i will proudly sponcor your trip here for been such an inspiration to people like me. Haven’t read all the articles yet but i will catch up God bless you and everyone here.

  37. Rory Conaway says:

    Prosper, who knows, I may be out there sometime anyway although I appreciate the offer.

    The biggest problem you have to start with is bandwidth. You have to find and get it as cheaply as possible, and not from a possible competitor. I’m working on a project on your continent now and that’s my biggest headache. That and power that is only guaranteed to be on for 4 hours a day.

    Once you solve those two problems, the rest is easy.

  38. Quentin says:

    Hi Rory,

    Thanks for your generous sharing of knowledge, experience and expertise here. It has been an enlightening window into the world of WISP and a background on one of the main markets and uses for the ubiquity products I have recently come across and bought for totally different purposes in my own business.

    I work in the film industry, filming at locations all over; including remote wildernesses, city centres and everything in-between. Increasingly I am seeing the need for setting up a wireless network that can travel and scale to cover any filming location, sometimes over large areas especially when filming vehicles on long runs. On set there is a growing amount of usage of the wireless spectrum, from 2.4Ghz wireless lens control systems, multiple 5Ghz HD video transmitters, to production wifi for internet access and the huge number of people with internet connected devices on set either working in the cloud or browsing Facebook and youtube during stand-by time. To add to this I also have wifi connected devices to remotely control cameras and colour video from their outputs. Looking for bulletproof & weather resistant solutions to base my network for these devices around I came across an article recommending the Ubiquiti Bullet M5, which led to me buying an Ubiquity UniFi AC AP Pro as I wanted to support the newer AC devices for camera control and later possibly add multiple H264 streaming devices to multiple client devices and my server for recording and multiple device independent access and review.

    Why do I mention all this?

    Well, I hope that you, or maybe one of the many people with broad knowledge in this area who read your site might just be able to give me a helpful suggestion or two of best fit technologies & hardware for my application. Obviously my application is far from your fixed applications, but I see a lot of scope for re-purposing the technology and there may be certain things that could be re-purposed more effectively than others.

    The main thing would be simplifying the install. My ideal solution would be very scalable, but use a few pieces of hardware (as few AP’s and Clients to install as possible to cover the given area as on most jobs I’m a one man band and everything needs to work pretty much immediately). It would also be very simple to manage once installed and quick to tweak for each new environment it finds itself in. It will want to automatically get out of the way of other more critical wireless communications – such as the wireless lens controls, video transmitters and communications radios, whilst also working solidly itself.
    In most situations it’s core function will be to work as a local wireless network, but ideally I would also be able to pass internet access on to certain devices on the network and use whatever internet access point (usually local domestic) is available at that location to do so. I often move locations and return to old ones, so some kind of wifi client/ router that can act as the internet gateway and remember and re-join previously joined networks would be extremely handy.

    It’s a long shot but hopefully somebody has some suggestions, idea or a direction to go in? From what I have found so far it seems like there are domestic routers which I have pretty much ruled out, enterprise routers which I haven’t fully explored yet and backhaul radios that often use proprietary technologies (like AirMAX) to reach long distances so require a dedicated AP and client then a further standards compliant AP or series of AP’s connected to that client to allow end devices access. Old Ubiquiti AirMAX products would let you turn off AirMAX so you could make something closer to the solution I want and have a long range, outdoor, standards compliant AP for devices to connect directly to, but with their new AC products this isn’t possible. Is there some kind of AC compliant product out there that can fit this application?

  39. Hi Quentin, do not waste your time with M5 bullet, that is super old fashion and wont help your needs, you need something more robust but I will let Rory to recommend you something regards,

  40. Rory Conaway says:

    I did something like this for the U.S. Ski Team a while back but we didn’t have as many options as we do today. I’d get the Mimosa A5-360 14. It’s only 5GHz but it’s ability to change channels based on interference and it’s backward compatibility to 802.11ac helps. The high-gain antennas and design will work great in multi-path environments. And if you need to set up longer ranger connections back, just add a C5. You can also set up multiple SSIDs if you need to split off traffic. It doesn’t have router functionality so you will have to add a Mikrotik router and I’d use an 850 for size. If you need more than 200-300Mbps on the 850, you need a CCR unit. If you need to run on battery, get a Netonix WS-8-150-DC switch and unless you need the CCR, you can run on 12V on the Netonix. There is also a CCR-1009 that runs on battery too and takes PoE, which it can get from the Netonix.

  41. Hi Rory, my supplier already have this A5360 18 here. Before I make the purchase , I have a small tower 36 feet on top of a 18ft house Total height is 54ft. I have 90 CPE nslm5 and nanobeam m16 at around 0.7 miles. Do you think it will perform ok? I have clear LOS except by a zone with some trees. I sell 10mbps and 20mbps to customers right now. Thank you

  42. Rory Conaway says:

    They will work fine. I just moved over 20 radios last night at up to 2.5 miles.

  43. I was about to put 3 Rocket Ac lite with a 90 dg sector antenna to cover those90 cpe. so based on your mimosa experience it would be a smarter move putting the mimosa instead? the cost is almost the same but which option will perform better is what is important now

  44. Rory Conaway says:

    Do the Mimosa. It’s the same or better in terms of signal strength although Ubiquiti admitted there is a problem with the 400’s. It’s faster, and it’s also less expensive.

  45. Hey Rory,

    How high from the roof do you mount the radios?

    If you need to put up a tower somewhere, how high of a tower do you construct, and what’s the typical construction cost?



  46. Rory Conaway says:

    We don’t use towers, too expensive and too hard to maintain, especially if you don’t have tower people on staff. Also your insurance goes up. Check out the Triad Wireless page on Facebook for some pictures of the way we do things.

  47. Hi Rory, I’m using Rocket M2 radios with 120 sectors 150 ft up on a tower. They are talking to Rocket M2 clients up to 10 miles out from the tower. How would a Mimosa A5360 18 work as a replacement for this configuration? The clients are getting five to ten Mbps depending on rate plan. Thanks Rory and keep up the great work! Are you coming to Wispapalooza in October? Sam

  48. Rory Conaway says:

    Read the paper that Mimosa put out.


    When the A5c comes out, that’s when you want to replace your M2’s.