Growing industry trends such as mobile and cloud computing, video and bring your own device are putting increasing pressure on Internet service providers to provide more bandwidth to handle the workloads. Many ISPs are responding by trying to replicate what Google is doing via its Google Fiber initiative.
However, startup Mimosa Networks is looking to enable ISPs to embrace wireless network technology by bringing fiber-level capabilities to WiFi. The company has raised $38 million in funding since its founding in 2012, and this month is releasing the first products in what Chief Product Officer Jaime Fink told eWEEK will be a rapidly growing portfolio.
The goal is to make it worthwhile—both technologically and financially—for ISPs to used WiFi to deliver many of the services that now run over their more expensive broadband networks. Service providers increasingly are looking to WiFi for offloading some of the broadband traffic, but Mimosa's technology will bring "data line fiber speeds over wireless networks," Fink said.
Mimosa on Aug. 5 unveiled the first of its products: the B5 Backhaul radio hardware that leverages multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) technology, and the company's Mimosa Cloud Services that offer planning and analytics capabilities throughout the wireless network. The result of the combination of the hardware and services will be WiFi networks that will be able to go where fiber can't—either through technological challenges or cost—to create Gigabit wireless "cloud-to-client" networks, officials said. In addition, ISPs will be able to more easily build and manage high-capacity, scalable networks.
Mimosa's B5 Backhaul radio offers four MIMO streams in co-locatable hardware that maximizes the use of available spectrum. The co-located radios will be able to deliver 16 MIMO streams and 4 Gigabits-per-second capacity via the same shared channel, according to Mimosa officials. The radio makes the most of available spectrum by using both GPS and GLONASS to maximize the syncing of satellites through such capabilities as RF isolation techniques and precision timing.
At the same time, the hardware is flexible and can adapt to environmental changes by automatically optimizing the bandwidth, frequency and power being used based on both historical and real-time data. The B5 radio will enable such spectrum analysis without interrupting service, the officials said. In addition, the device can load balance traffic across two non-contiguous channels for increased resiliency against interference.
ISPs also can leverage Mimosa Cloud Services for network planning and management to use with the B5 Backhaul radio. Aided by the presence of Google Maps mapping service, the services enable service providers to visually plan and design links while having a single view of their entire network, while offering ISPs topology, obstruction and environmental information that will let them see how a link will operate once created.
The cloud services also enable operators to leverage the B5 Backhaul radio's spectrum analysis capabilities to see historical and real-time spectrum data for any Mimosa radio on the network, and collect statistics on the networks and graph device performance for analysis.
There also are monitoring and alert features that can help ISPs find and solve service problems as they arise.
The Mimosa Cloud Services are available now, and the B5 Backhaul radio can be ordered in two models—the B5, a 5GHz system that includes an integrated antenna, and a radio-only version the B5c. The B5 starts at $899, while pricing for the B5c begins at $839.