Mimosa Networks is launching its advanced radio products for a new kind of fixed wireless broadband network that could bring super-fast broadband to neighborhoods.
By using Mimosa’s products, wireless Internet service providers (ISPs) can build high-capacity wireless networks at a small cost compared to the task of laying fiber optic cables in the ground. Mimosa is creating products that its customers can use to build an outdoor fixed network, or one where home owners put an antenna on their roof and point it at a single tower in their neighborhood. A homeowner could use a $100 access point and antenna to access the Internet wirelessly at a data rate of 100 megabits to 500 megabits a second.
That’s a huge boost over networks such as cable modems, which can supply data at a rate of perhaps 25 megabits a second, and it approaches the speeds for fiber networks.
“We’ve taken Wi-Fi technology and reused it to deal with the efficiency issues and spectrum interference issues we see with Wi-Fi today,” said Mimosa cofounder and chief product officer Jaime Fink. “This announcement is the real meat and differentiation of our company with last-mile access. It’s pretty game-changing.”
A few months ago, Mimosa released its B5 Backhaul radio with a wireless technology dubbed massive MU-MIMO (multiuser, multiple in, multiple out). It also unveiled its Mimosa Cloud Services network planning and analytics software. With a single B5 radio, an ISP can provide a gigabit of Internet capacity for up to eight or nine miles. When multiple radios are on the same channel, Mimosa can send 16 streams of data at a rate of 4 gigabits per second. It taps the low-cost technology of Wi-Fi tech without running into the bottlenecks that slow Wi-Fi down.
Today, Mimosa is also unveiling the “cloud-to-client” equipment that will be used in consumers’ homes. They include an 802.11ac 4×4:4 A5 access point radio suite and C5 antenna-integrated client. These devices will “revolutionize the way consumers connect,” Fink said.
“The next great stage of advancement in the wireless industry will come from progress in spectrum sharing technology,” Fink said. “By coupling MU-MIMO with innovative collocation techniques, Mimosa’s products are aggressively pushing the boundaries of this new frontier.”
Campbell, Calif.-based Mimosa is using advanced isolation and multiple satellite services (GPS and GLONASS) to colocate multiple radios on a single tower while the entire network synchronizes to avoid self-interference. Fink said that many companies are trying to bring fast fiber networks to neighborhoods, but the costs of wiring an area are very expensive.
“Where broadband advancement is successful, fiber and wireless technologies work together. Providers build out fiber as far as it’s economically viable and from there, wireless bridges the gap,” said Brian Hinman, CEO of Mimosa. “Our technology transports the full bandwidth of the fiber connection, bringing gigabit Internet the last leg of the journey to homes and businesses. With the ability to rapidly scale at a low cost, Mimosa products will have a real impact on the industry.”
The networks will likely start being deployed around the summer or fall of 2015, Fink said. ISPs will have to build broadband towers in neighborhoods before the Mimosa technology can be deployed widely.
Mimosa, which uses 10G wireless Wi-Fi chips from Quantenna Communications, was founded in 2012.
The company recently raised $20 million in a round of funding from New Enterprise Associates. All told, the company has raised $38 million.