Proxim Wireless Intros 4G Backhaul Products

By Jeff Goldman

July 15, 2009

The company’s new QB-8100 and MP-8100 products support data rates of up to 300 Mbps, with 600 Mbps versions expected in Q4 2009.

The company’s new QB-8100 and MP-8100 products support data rates of up to 300 Mbps, with 600 Mbps versions expected in Q4 2009.

Proxim Wireless Corporation today introduced its new 4G backhaul product line, which includes the Tsunami QB-8100 (Quick Bridge) point-to-point and Tsunami MP-8100 (Multi Point) point-to-multipoint products. Both units are currently designed to support speeds of up to 300 Mbps, with 600 Mbps versions expected by the end of the year.

Farpoint Group analyst Craig Mathias says the solutions are a good fit for carriers and WISPs facing the challenge of 4G deployments. “The only great truth in wireless—as is the case with every other area of high tech—is the requirement for improved performance (throughput and capacity) at a lower price,” he says. “With 4G now on the horizon, the situation only becomes more urgent.”

Company CEO Pankaj Manglik says one key market for the new products is rural connectivity. “The federal funding that’s going into the stimulus package for carriers and service providers… is beginning to have a pretty profound impact on that entire space,” he says. “New business models are coming up, new kinds of companies are coming up, and certainly all the big boys are looking at using this money to deploy networks in rural areas.”

Other key markets, Manglik says, include last mile Internet access and wireless video surveillance. “We have cameras up on the Golden Gate Bridge and all the bridges around the Bay Area, for example—and people want to be able to put up high definition cameras when they become available… and our goal is not just to support HD cameras, but to support a very large number of aggregated HD cameras off a single link—and then be able to backhaul that video traffic,” he says.

The same is true, Manglik says, of cellular backhaul. “With people looking at WiMAX and LTE, there’s going to be more and more bandwidth out at the edge—but even today, as a direct function of the increased traffic, especially the increased data and video traffic, service providers are trying to increase the size of the backhaul, the size of the pipe—and that’s the product that we’re bringing to market with 4G,” he says.

Key strengths of the products, Manglik says, include data rates of 300 Mbps to 600 Mbps, range of more than 70 kilometers, latency of one to two milliseconds—and non-line-of-sight capability thanks to OFDM and 3x3 MIMO technologies. “Those are the four things that service providers care about very strongly—capacity, range, latency, and non-line-of-sight… and we’ve tried to focus on those four attributes as we built these products,” he says.

Another strength, Manglik says, lies in the number of frequencies supported, including 2.3-2.5 and 4.9-6.08 GHz. “We’re going to support pretty much every frequency that’s used all over the world north of 2 GHz… we will have licensed frequencies and unlicensed frequencies, as well as public safety frequency bands… and then with the next software release, we’re going to also release 3.3-3.7 GHz and 4.4 GHz frequencies,” he says.

Both units also boast dual gigabit Ethernet ports. “One of the things that we heard from our customers that do a lot of video surveillance is that… instead of having to pull two separate power lines, one to our unit and then one to the camera, they wanted us to be able to power the camera that we’re connected to,” Manglik says. “So we have PoE in, and PoE out of the second Ethernet port… to power another radio or another video surveillance camera.”

Combine that with non line of sight, Manglik says, and the installation process is greatly simplified. “Today, if someone has to set it up, they basically install the video camera, install our radio, point the video camera where it needs to point, point our radio in the general direction of wherever the traffic needs to go… and you’re off and running,” he says. “We do a lot of work through the channel, and the channel loves the fact that this is so easy to set up and so easy to install.”

And the company’s ProximVision ES network management solution, Manglik says, provides users with extensive support for these and any other Proxim products on the same network, all within a single interface. “They can see a Google Map with coordinates of where their equipment is and whether the link is up… and then be able to configure those units at each of those individual locations and do the appropriate RF planning, etc., as needed,” he says.

Both products are available now. The base price for the Tsunami MP-8100 is $1,549, while the Tsunami QB-8100 starts at $6,599.

Jeff Goldman is a veteran technology journalist and frequent contributor to Wi-Fi Planet. He is based in southern California.

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