RealTime IT News

Affordable, Powerful Range Extension

Ubiquiti Networks, a provider of broadband wireless equipment, recently announced a new lineup of products for wireless ISPs. Its lead product, “The Bullet,” a carrier-class, weather-proof, radio system covering the 2.4GHz and 5GHz worldwide unlicensed bands, starts at just $39 making it an affordable solution, not just for professional installers, but for home Wi-Fi enthusiasts looking for more range on their WLANs, as well. Essentially, the Bullet can turn just about any antenna into a carrier-class outdoor radio system. Since “how can I extend my range” is the most-asked question among our readers, this is an exciting find. [Check back for our review in December.]

The Bullet ships with Ubiquiti's AirOS firmware and a Linux SDK to encourage open source development. (More on that in Ubiquiti's online forums.)

No dimensions are listed for The Bullet, but it is described as “ultra-compact,” and weighs 6.4 ounces. It features an integrated N-type RF connector that allows the Bullet to be easily paired up with a variety of sector, grid, yagi, and other popular outdoor antenna types, taking some of the headache out of installation because, as Ubiquiti says, “installers no longer have to worry about RF cabling, separate host board systems, enclosures, or mounting brackets.”

"We are very excited to introduce The Bullet to the many outdoor wireless service providers throughout the world. We believe the introduction of this device will mark a significant milestone for the industry through allowing carriers worldwide to expand their broadband wireless networks more aggressively and with more confidence," said Robert J. Pera, President of Ubiquiti Networks in a press release October 21st.

For users looking to improve reception of signals they don’t control—users of the Philadelphia free public network, for instance--The Bullet won’t help. But, says Wi-Fi Planet's Wi-Fi Guru, “for people wishing to send a signal over a long distance—say, for instance, they control both ends of the link and want to send a signal from one house to another—this product could be quite useful.”

The Bullet runs on an Atheros MIPS 4KC, 180MHz CPU and includes 16MB of SDRAM and 4MB of flash. It ships in four versions up to 1000mW, with the entry-level version at $39. It requires Power over Ethernet.

Other new products announced last week by Ubiquiti include,  NanoStation Loco, Pico Station, and RouterStation.

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-Fi Planet.