Introducing airCube: Home Wi-Fi for the ISP
For many years, ISPs both wireless and wired have been looking for a simple, cost-effective way of providing in-home Wi-Fi service to their residential customers. Rather than having the subscriber buy their own Wi-Fi router which ends up being a support nightmare, or providing a consumer-oriented off-the-shelf home Wi-Fi router themselves which are typically not any better, these ISPs need a quality solution that provides performance they can stand behind in addition to being easily manageable and inexpensive. So far, this has been hard to find.
Here’s the key point to consider with in-home Wi-Fi; the cost of the Wi-Fi access point itself is only one piece of the puzzle. Far more expensive over time are the costs to the ISP in terms of customer support; these may not be as easy to quantify, but are a much bigger problem. Think about all the times a customer has used an hour of your time on the phone or even worse, on a truck roll, because they had an issue they blamed on you that wasn’t your fault.
With most Wi-Fi access points, you as the ISP have very little visibility to what’s going inside the customer’s home. Most management interfaces for these devices are poor, and often don’t allow interoperation with a centralized network management platform either. This leaves you searching in the dark for the problem until you give up and take a truck out to the home, with you being stuck to pay the bill at the end in terms of time and staff pay. Sucks, right?
Enter airCube, Ubiquiti's answer to the problem of providing Wi-Fi for your residential subscribers. With airMAX or UFiber for residential internet connectivity, airCube hardware for in-home Wi-Fi and UNMS for network management, your whole network right to the inside of the home can be managed from a single system, shrinking your support and troubleshooting costs.
airCube comes in two models today:
- airCube AC – a high-performance 802.11ac home Wi-Fi access point which features an innovative super antenna design, specifically created to provide solid coverage and high speed throughout the home.
- airCube ISP – a low-cost home Wi-Fi router with a unique PoE pass-through powering feature, letting you reuse the existing PoE power supply from the airMAX CPE installed at the home.
Both devices feature a sleek industrial design, taking cues from AmpliFi and simplifying it down for the cost-conscious ISP market. This is Wi-Fi your subscribers won’t want to hide behind the TV, improving their user experience and reducing your support calls too.
Deploying airCube is also simplified with UNMS app support, allowing the Wi-Fi network to be set-up with minimal time and effort using the intuitive app for iOS and Android. You can use the same app to set up an airMAX CPE providing connectivity to the house, letting you do a full residential subscriber installation with just a phone. Prefer a web UI? That’s also available.
airCube will see many exciting new features made available through software upgrades, with the same level of support as you’d expect from an airMAX product. The airCube platform will grow in features and performance as Ubiquiti continues to enhance it with new technologies and features, drawing inspiration from your suggestions and discussions on the UBNT community.
They recently released airCube OS v2.2.0 with support for many new and requested features including port-based VLANs. The next release is planned for June and includes port forwarding plus other features requested by the community. airCube is going to keep getting better through regular software updates, supporting more complex networks with each rapid iteration.
Combined with UNMS, airMAX and UFiber, airCube is the solution to providing a managed Wi-Fi service for your residential customers. Forget the hassle of BYOR (Bring Your Own Router) and give airCube a try today to see how it can improve your customer’s satisfaction with their service, add some revenue for you, and reduce your support calls all at the same time.
Blog post by Ubiquiti