Title: Message
Charles,
 
Excellent points.
 
However to expand on that. Mikrotik added software feature is looked at as added value but in some cases looked at as a negative feature. For example, sometimes all I want is an easy to install bridge. I take a Trango out of the box, and bam its working, and I can't screw it up.  Mikrotik on the other hand, I get confused jsut looking at it, because all the options I have to configure and screw things up :-)  For example, Trango does normal full bridging by default, Mikrotik you got to customize WDS in a specific way to get it right. 
 
I'd argue that Mikrotik's largest value is not software, but hardware flexibilty.  A board all preloaded and ready to go with the software preloaded, with flexible Wireless card add-ons.
Its valuable to say for an extra $50 I can add a repeater radio, or extra $100 I can add a 900Mhz repeater to the existing radio, or for $50 I can add a HotSpot Radio with a second Omni. The cost to expand Mikrotik is pennies compared to any other solution on the market.  But to reap the benefits of low cost expansion the backhaul link from the initial CPE radio has to also be Mikrotik.  So in a sense its accepting a small trade off for the first layer (CPEs) from cell site, to gain low cost easy expansion. 
 
Quite honestly, today is probably the first day I tried to use a Mikrotik feature otehr than how to bridge and pass large packets. My Linksys does everythign else I need for $50.
 
Sure Mikrotik's software is very feature rich, and probably the best value on the market, but the true value is flexibilty to have multi-port radios expandable as needed.
 
Based on that arguement, Mikrotik is bundled in with StarOS.
 
Alvarion's strength on the other hand, is top notch support.  Its not uncommon for Alvarion to send an engineer onsite to help (FOR FREE!!!). And a product out of teh box ALL INTACT. Not connections (MiniPCI/Pigtail) to fail.  And best of class RF firmware.  (Class being defined as Atheros based 802.11a).
 
Its funny, I am actually about 50/50 on wether I use StarOS or Mikrotik for appropriate projects. STAROS is easier to configure and teach how to configure, so I like to use it. Mikrotik, adds technical features needed such as VirtualAP, WDS bridging w/ VLAN, etc.  There are some jobs, that only Mikrotik could deliver the solution. Because oif that if I had to pick one over the other I'd ahve to select Mikrotik. But I'm not forced to make that choice, I can use both. An example where I use StarOS is serving three or four homes on a culdasack from one common backhaul antenna. Put an residential end user in front of a Mikrotik Enterface, and they are super lost. Its powerful but not easy. Learning is involved. But in StarOS, because its text, in a pull down menu format, its much easier to walk end users over the phone how to use it and check stuff.  Not that end users usually need to.  But its the little things like how to tell if associated and the received signal strength.  Its the first thing the end user sees when they ssh in.
 
With Alvarion, none ofthese things are relevant. The fact that a Alvarion radio is inline, is hidden to the consumer. Only the service provider interacts with it.  Instead its purpose is to add the most reliable product for delivering the RF solution.
 
All three products have their value, jsut the value proposition is different.
 
Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: Charles Wu
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 6:16 PM
Subject: RE: [WISPA] frame size and fps - was OT: about 70Mbps for under $ 6K

Hi Stephen,
 
Regarding performance gains, it is worth defining what is meant by that term, as it can be vague and extremely misleading
 
For example, if my solution required a router, the fact that Mikrotik had built in routing, while Alvarion did not, could be interpreted just as much as being a "performance gain" as Alvarion being (according to Tom D) more "interference resistant" than Mikrotik
 
In our context, I was referring to specifically the wireless context
 
from a wireless standpoint, Mikrotik hasn't done anything IMO extraordinary (at least they have HAL access though =) -- testing raw aggregate throughput on Mikrotik point-to-point systems yields generally similar throughput and packet per second numbers as "stock" 11a solutions -- now Nstream does offer some nifty features, but those are more upper MAC related (e.g., polling to solve contention-based MAC allocation)
 
This isn't meant to say that Mikrotik has a bad wireless driver, rather, IMO, Mikrotik's value-add is more its integration of multiple features (that many other products don't support)
 
On the other hand, others, like Alvarion, Trango and Star-OS (we haven't finished testing Star-OS yet) -- have spent more effort diving into the HAL and RF hardware portion (in the case more so for Alvarion & Trango than Star-OS, which still utilizes cheap(er) off-the-shelf mini-PCIs) to optimize Rf & throughput performance of their Atheros based systems
 
On a 11a chipset, Trango gets ~40 Mb, Alvarion gets ~30 Mb (though this may be changing w/ their new v4.0) and StarOS *supposedly* gets ~30 Mb
 
That said, then there's the question of user need -- am I willing to sacrifice an additional 20-30% bandwidth efficiency and save additional $$$$ in exchange for having a lot of other built-in nifty and useful features? 
 
-Charles
 
 
 

-------------------------------------------
CWLab
Technology Architects
http://www.cwlab.com

-----Original Message-----
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Stephen Patrick
Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2006 2:45 PM
To: 'WISPA General List'
Subject: RE: [WISPA] frame size and fps - was OT: about 70Mbps for under $ 6K

Hi there,

Not detracting from this great debate, but I'd have to make some Mikrotik comments at this point.
We use their OS in our radios and the "end product" we have on the market does out-perform several well-known brands in terms of many parameters including throughput, stability and RX sensitivity.

The "extras" (essentials for some customers) i.e. L3 features, wireless extensions, security add huge value and reduce total network cost as "extra boxes" suddenly vanish.

Shameless plug, we not only offer completed products with warranty but training and full tech support (not the "e-mail us" variety: real people to speak to, on-site presence when it matters, etc).

Of course Mikrotik "performance gains" might not apply if you were to take a "DIY approach": performance can be terrible on the wrong hardware, tech support absent and you wouldn't have vital (legally required) certifications either.

But as a vendor having built and shipped wireless products that use RouterOS and hearing the (cynical and wireless savvy) customer feedback saying consistently "performance better than Brand X" even comparing a simple L2 wireless bridge then I'd have to voice support for the OS.

Sure do compare with Star-OS and others; or a real DIY: build it from bare hardware and FreeBSD/Linux with WiFi drivers or whatever... but as this thread came from "vendor products" I thought it worth chipping in - just my £0.01's worth.

Regards

Stephen

CableFree Solutions
www.cablefreesolutions.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Wu [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: 20 June 2006 20:15
To: 'WISPA General List'
Subject: RE: [WISPA] frame size and fps - was OT: about 70Mbps for under
$ 6K


Hi Tom,

Not to add another "chink" to your debate -- but it is worth noting that
Mikrotik is more of a "jack of all trades" solution (they do routing,
hotspot, etc) than a wireless solution

While they do an ok job w/ wireless, IMO, their strength is more the
convenience coming from the integration of multiple packages and its
flexibility rather than the performance of any single feature

If you're looking at purely a "wireless" solution (in this "do-it-yourself"
genre) -- you need to include Star-OS / Ikarus in your evaluation (but then,
documentation gets a bit sparse there...)

-Charles

-------------------------------------------
CWLab
Technology Architects
http://www.cwlab.com



-----Original Message-----
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]] On
Behalf Of Tom DeReggi
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2006 5:37 PM
To: WISPA General List
Subject: Re: [WISPA] frame size and fps - was OT: about 70Mbps for under $
6K


Paul,

Although many have reported very high speeds with Mikrotik. Our live tests
in noisy environments (wether accepted as accurate or not) showed we were
not able to get the peak speeds out of Mikrotik where we could get them from

Alvarion. Our comparative tests were done with the Alvarion ver 3 firmware
(not 4 yet). The Alvarion speeds that we got were right on the numbers with
the speeds test Alvarion tech support sent us. Actually our tested speeds
were a bit higher in some some cases.  (Take note we only got accurate
speeds when we hard set modulation to optimal (picked the best one for the
situation) modulation for testing).

I do not mean this as a negative comment on Mikrotik. Our competition to
Alvarion is NOT Trango, Trango does not yet have a 20 mbps product for PtMP.
We look at our Trango as the best choice to tackle the worse noisy
environments (for us almost everywhere :-)
Our competition for Alvarion is actually Mikrotik.

Mikrotik probably has the single highest value from a feature cost
perspective. Why pay Alvarion price, when Mikrotik can do almost the same
thing at a fraction of the cost.  Mikrotik has changed this market and
forced competing vendors to look at how to be more competitive.  Mikrotik is

doing what Trango did 4 years ago to drive the price down.  (I'd argue that
Trango is still doing it also).

It will be real interesting to see how Alvarion performs side by side to
Mikrotik. The initial look show to me that Alvarion adds significant
features that make it the premium choice, possibly the leader in OFDM today,

if price not part of the consideration. However, Mikrotik's flexibilty and
price clearly will keep them a major player for many WISPs.

Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband


----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Hendry" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'WISPA General List'" <wireless@wispa.org>
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006 3:45 PM
Subject: RE: [WISPA] frame size and fps - was OT: about 70Mbps for under $
6K


> Are these figures in the lab? I have seen similar with a
> Mikrotik/N-Streme solution.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> On Behalf Of Patrick Leary
> Sent: 16 June 2006 19:57
> To: WISPA General List
> Subject: RE: [WISPA] frame size and fps - was OT: about 70Mbps for
> under $ 6K
>
> So I have more data for you Matt I just received about what firmware
> 4.0 delivers in terms of frame sizes and what it can mean to the
> business case. Remember, this is multipoint, not PtP. All Mbps numbers
> are NET
> throughput:
>
> Frame size Upstream Mbps/FPS Downstream Mbps/FPS
> 64 32.18/47893 40.29/59952
> 128 34.7/29308 43.79/36982
> 256 37.68/17065 45.03/20392
> 512 38.41/9025 45.51/10693
> 1024 37.02/4432 44.82/5366
> 1280 38.93/3743 45.99/4422
> 1518 36.69/2982 44.63/3627
>
> This is a dramatic improvement, first in terms of net throughput the
> numbers
> are huge and I am pretty sure no other PMP system can get close to them.
> But
> the main accomplishment is a total leveling of capacity regardless of the
> frame size. This results in much higher predictability and ability to
> capacity plan. This takes net throughput over 700% higher using small
> 64bit
> frame than the previous version. Frankly it really is an exceptional
> achievement that will enable operators to offer very high value services
> even to large enterprise. With this version of BreezeACCESS VL an operator
> could sell an 8 voice lines/6Mbps of data to 20 enterprise customers in a
> single sector with a 5:1 over subscription with a voice MOS of 4.0 or
> higher. And with a SOHO type service like 2 voice lines and 3Mbps of data
> you could have 160 customers PER sector at a 20:1 over subscription. That
> will produce some exceptional ARPU.
>
> Patrick Leary
> AVP Marketing
> Alvarion, Inc.
> o: 650.314.2628
> c: 760.580.0080
> Vonage: 650.641.1243
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matt Liotta [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006 6:47 AM
> To: WISPA General List
> Subject: Re: [WISPA] OT: about 70Mbps for under $6K
>
> Patrick Leary wrote:
>
>>Matt, to further your comments that you see WISPs providing layer 2
> transort
>>for carriers.
>>
> We have multiple CLECs and non-CLECs buying layer 2 transport from us
> now. All are used to buy alternative access from fiber providers and
> therefore fixed wireless was a naturally next step. Further, almost
> all indicated they would have done it sooner, but the fixed wireless
> companies they approached weren't willing to offer them layer 2
> transport.
>
>>How about VoIP? How many of you consider VoIP to be an important part
>>of your service future as a WISP? If so, how do you plan to support
>>since it cannot be done decently with the other popular 5GHz
>>solutions. That's not my opinion so much as the opinion of many larger
>>Trango and Motorola WISPs I have been talking to lately.
>>
>>
>>
> We are doing a significant amount of VoIP now. We have VoIP customers
> running on top of both Trango and Canopy radios. Canopy is a
> significantly better solution for VoIP since we can properly
> prioritize voice with Canopy, while we cannot with Trango. We also
> wholesale VoIP to other operators and help them --if they require it--
> with getting their network ready to support VoIP.
>
>>If a key goal of WISPs is growing ARPU, what are WISPs plans for doing
>>that
>>with whatever your current technology permits?
>>
>>
>>
> I believe VoIP is the number one way to grow ARPU and the fact that we
> bundle VoIP is why I believe we have one of the highest ARPUs in the
> industry.
>
> -Matt
>
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