B5c PtMP firmware?

OK, so we have a GREAT B5c for PtP service. It has “N” connectors on it, so it will connect to any type antenna I need to use! It will work with the C5 radio unit.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, give us PtMP firmware for it, so we can start replacing our UBNT M5 Access Points (on sector antennas), and installing in C5 radios at the customers !

I am NOT is a situation where I am going to install and use the A5 Onni on my towers! NOT workable for me, I need the sectors (and they are already installed)

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So what exactly you will do ? You will run all your customers in wifi mode with no TDMA or polling ?

I have existing UBNT sectors up on our towers! We would like to put B5c’s on them, be able to use PtMP software, and then use C5 units out in the field at the customer locations!

ALL we need is the PtMP software for the B5c’s to run it !

What you actually want to set up is the A5c, preferably with two 2x2 sector or one 4x4 sector.

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No, I talked to Mimosa about using the A5c on normal sectors. They stated that the 4 RF connectors on the unit, do not correspond to a normal vertical-horizontal output, and that it may or may NOT work as 2 separate antennas?

What I DO want, is something that I already know works well, and that is the B5c as an AP, but in a PtMP mode!

I am quite sure, that there are many like me out there that would be more than willing to pull off our old “M” series, or new “AC” series AP’s from our existing sector antennas, and replace them with B5c’s !

(Tired of being in “Beta” land, and used as lab rats)

Couple things here for you @wayne - I’ll try to cover the antenna A5 related stuff, as well as the B5 multipoint related stuff here.

The B5c multipoint software has been slightly delayed in getting done, we have it out in beta with a limited number of customers right now, and we’ve wanted to take our time to improve the abilities of some airtime fairness capabilities. This is important as the B5 series does not have the bells and whistles of the A5 line where we have really sophisticated traffic management, rate limiting and L2/VLAN features.

I expect to be expanding out the reach beyond this in a limited release within a couple of weeks, I call it limited because we only really want those that need multipoint features to upgrade to it, rather than the huge mass of existing PTP users out there, and we want those PTP folks to stick on the mainline software with all the features we’re adding for PTP efficiencies on the 1.4.0 software that is very close to being released.

I do think it’s important to understand the differences of capabilities with the B versus A series, especially if you’re trying to do multipoint to consumers. Swapping over to us from other vendor previous deployment takes some thought about integration. B series multipoint is great for backhaul applications where we’ll treat links pretty fairly, but there is no “built-in” upper layer features for L2/L3 services you might expect in consumer for segregating VLANs natively per B5 client, etc. This has to be done on the B series with external switch/routers on either sides of the nodes.

The A5/C5 series is really sophisticated at traffic management and L2 features, VLANs, some application intelligence, and is being enhanced to integrate well into subscriber provisioning and billing systems to get configurations all the way down to the home, to Mimosa in home routers or 3rd party routers (customer or WISP supplied).

So, that being said, I’d encourage WISPs to consider the core application, rather than simply which antenna since they’re both connectorized solution.

To address your A5 question on the 4 connectors, they are “generic” so we simply need alternating orthogonal polarizations between connectors 1/2/3/4 in order to get the full MIMO stream matrix identified. We have some WISPs testing this with dual-sector as I speak, and I do expect that it will work reasonably. The primary reason we’re not coming out and fully supporting it, is it will never be as good as the litany of 4x4 antennas we’ve been testing, and can cause a whole bunch of “weird” behaviors if the 2 sectors are not extremely well aligned together in Az/Elev, and if the sectors were not well designed for GPS sync for sidelobe or FTB ratio, etc. the whole thing can be a real challenge to troubleshoot problems for our Support team.

So far we’ve seen about 4 different antenna manufacturer’s 4x4 antennas, some are about ready to go to market that are very cost-effective, in addition to KP, and others we’re still working with them to improve their designs to be a better “match” for the A5c capabilities and sync.

Hope that helps, we certainly are not wanting folks like yourself on the bleeding edge by yourself, and we realize there’s a ton of “leftover” 2x2 sectors out there, so hopefully they can be used in the right application so you’re not getting frustrated with how they’re being deployed.

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Hi Jaime, I do see your point here but you would have to agree that the B5C will continue to be an attractive preposition for those who want increased capacity while trying to reduce having to acquire more cell sites (right of way) in densely populated areas. As brilliant as the A5-18 is, it is not built for capacity, the A5C on the other hand is a 4 interface AP which means limited choice of antenna. I understand the B5C would fit in perfectly to the Rf element Horn antenna which is best suited for densely populated areas though I’m not sure if the horn antenna supports beamforming but because the horn has a symmetrical propagation you are more likely to have a very stable link which does cancel out what you lose by not having beamforming. For someone in a situation where capacity and quality of service in a densely populated is their top priority; they should be more than willing to implement several B5C per site using the Horn antenna then solve the problem of the traffic management by deploying a mikrotik router at the cell sites which should connect to the giga ethernet backhual.

Totally agree @Beshel about your points on the application, as long as people aware of the integration needs for L2/L3 service termination, and that it only for now will work with B5-Lite or B5 as clients, no 3rd parties and C5 (we’ll eventually add C5 but it’s not done in software crossover).

There’s no reason you wouldn’t see some beamforming even with dual 2x2 sectors or horns, but the patterns may be less predictable than the 4x4 ones we know. I think you’ll see a lot more antennas very soon on the 4x4 side.

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Another area where we need PtMP on the B5c, is where you can use 1 B5c doing PtP service to 2 B5c doing PtP as the end points. We have one Mountain top (AP) that serves 2 schools (Stations), currently they are UBNT “M” series radios. Would love to switch them over to B5c units ! Once we can go to PtMP on them, we will replace the old “M” units. I have several of these links that we need to upgrade.

@wayne certainly a good application. Please DM or email me so I can connect you up with our product team as we expand the PTMP B5 beta testing next week.

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Thanks Jaime,
Would love too try that Beta!


Reading Jaime’s post for several sectors I do believe that 2x2 MIMO Horns should be easy to double up with good alignment to suite the A5c. It may be that the B5c is a (good) choice if using new PtMP software, but the number of clients on the sector is also something to consider.

I assume that using the A5c with a new 4x4 sector at one site, and moving the old 2x2 Horn to complement another site/area, would be the best from a performance point of view (at least if having loads of clients). Rather than using the B5c on an existing 2x2 Horn to serve M5/C5 series of clients.

@Jaime, Good morning, I would also like to test with B5C PtMP firmware.

Thanks Martin Miassi

As mentioned in the post above in June last year, for many reasons we decided not to release the software in General Availability, and are focusing on the A5 and A5c for multipoint platforms.

Lots of WISPs have been succesfully testing the A5c with dual-pol sectors and horn antennas (overlapping and non-overlapping patterns).

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Can you share some A5c and A5 PtMP performance results ?

@Jaime Hi and what about I have a primary tower with a B5 already delivering internet to a point and I need to add a 3rd point to a near sector to also deliver connection to that area like a V can we have that option instead of adding another B5 pointing to that area