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So why would I use ePMP/Cambium over Mimosa

Super Contributor

So why would I use ePMP/Cambium over Mimosa

Our company is being bought by another company wanting to get into the broadband business. The company buying us has a total of like 6 broadband customers using all Mimosa. They have a lot of money to throw around and Mimosa even sent someone down to help them set up their little test PoP, Backhaul and what was originally 10 customers.  


So, a couple of the people at the company are really pushing to roll out Mimosa and I want to stay with Cambium. Or do  I ? It occurred to me that I don't really know anything about Mimosa so I can't really argue with these guys on why we would want to continue rolling out Cambium instead of Mimosa.  Other than "I'm familiar with Cambium's horrible interfaces" I don't really have any arguments against Mimosa.

 

11 REPLIES
Trusted Contributor

Re: So why would I use ePMP/Cambium over Mimosa

Note, I haven't actually used any Mimosa products, but I have some friends that have and I've been following them since they started. I guess the three biggest issues that I've heard from friends and in forums are problems with Mimosa's ethernet ports frequently getting burnt out, firmware updates being very finicky and bricking radios, and lastly, lack of NAT routing or more advanced routing features at the client side. We use NAT on the radio for our network and not having that feature is a no go for us. It also seems most of the people that are having success with Mimosa are doing very short distances, under a mile, and are using it in relatively clean 5ghz spectrum and using huge channel widths (80mhz). Think micro-pop on a house in a sub-division type of deployments.

 

I think you'll have better luck using Cambium ePMP on farther shots and/or more congested sites... especially if you opt for the ePMP 2000 AP. In addition, if you deploy on ePMP now, you'll be able to move up to the new AC wave 2 based ePMP 3000 AP coming out early next year...  which will have similar, if not better performance then Mimosa's current offerings. The new 3000 will be completely backwards compatible with the existing ePMP gear.

Contributor

Re: So why would I use ePMP/Cambium over Mimosa

I like the Mimosa B5 backhaul radio, but their access line is very limited. The C5 is a plastic radio that wants an external ground wire. The C5c, for higher gain, took well over two years to ship after announcement, and it's relatively expensive. That's about it for compatible clients (except in Wi-Fi mode, which is lame). With ePMP you can use the small Force 180, the midsized 190 or the fairly big 200. Or use a Connectorized non-GPS radio as a client with whatever antenna you want, like a C5c but rarely needed. You can also use Force 200s for PTP use; a C5 and a B5-Lite are the same hardware but the firmware is locked to one or other other application. To be sure, that's a trick they learned from Cambium's predecessor company and still applies to the PTP/PMP line. But ePMP is Cambium's version of playing nice.

Cambium also has matching 2.4 GHz radios, which help in some rural areas. It'll be interesting to see how the PTP550 compares with the B5 line, too.

Frequent Contributor

Re: So why would I use ePMP/Cambium over Mimosa

Besides the interface which I found very difficult to understand ( not using correct terms for controls, though Ive heard they fixed that), Mimosa hardware is not tower-centric. Its designed with the micro-pop-on-a-house theme. So you have a BH slave and an omni B5 on the roof and 10 to 20 clients that are close to it ( 400m radius CLOS). Next is cost. A mimosa ap is still $1200cad and the SMs are well over $200 each.
Cambium ePMP AP is not cheap either once you factor the antenna cost, but SMs are under $130CAD each for force 180s and these work up to 5 miles (depending on rf environment and other factors)
Going for the bigger Cambium PMP gear is an option if you need high throughput 900mhz. The 450i is rock solid and easy to work with but the price per unit is on the order of Mimosa wifi based gear pricing.

Bottom line is that your company needs to decide on a deployment type strategy abd only then would you be able to decide which to back. In my opinion Mimosa is over priced Ubiquity gear and it does not fit with the direction our company is going.
Regular Contributor

Re: So why would I use ePMP/Cambium over Mimosa

That's a good point, Mimosa really is best suited for micropops, so network design is certainly something that needs to be considered.

 

If you're talking about a network where the majority of the customer's are going to be within a mile or so of the AP, then Mimosa does have some advantages, but if you're going to be on 100'+ towers, trying to cover customers out four or five miles, then Cambium is going to be a much better choice, in my opinion - if for no other reason than that they have much better options for high gain SMs (there are other reasons I'd go with Cambium as well, but that's an obvious one). But I suspect that the advantages that Mimosa does have at the moment will be gone when the AC based ePMP gear is released...

Frequent Contributor

Re: So why would I use ePMP/Cambium over Mimosa

Another thing to consider is Cambium is developing a Firmware for the ePMP Force 300 to be able to connect into a ePMP1000/2000.

 

What this means is you can start getting your new/existing clients installed with  Force 300's in Feb/early March in anticiaption of the ePMP3000 Launch in late Q2.

 

I guess the question is do you want AC and the benifits of Mu-MiMo now or later, if now are you willing to take risks on the issues you listed Mimosa have. We have stuck with Cambium due to the reliabilty of there radios, I have 1000's deployed with no issues. At distances over 1km they even perform as well as the UBNT Gen 2 radios if not better (we have both in service).

 

Unfortunately I can not comment on the Mimosa as we do not have these and after looking at others experiences through forums and facebook posts we decided not to touch them. Though this was a while back now.

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Super Contributor

Re: So why would I use ePMP/Cambium over Mimosa

We use both. I have over a dozen ePMP tower sites and 2 Mimosa A5-14 towers (mico-pops).  All are running in 40 Mhz channel widths. We offer speeds from 25 Mbps into the 100's. 

 

The short answer is:

Mimosa APs are faster. Those clients are able to hit download speeds in excess of 120 Mbps very reliably (with 50/50 sync turned on). The GUI is annoying but it does not cause the radio to loose all its client associations every time you make a change - which I love. We can't monitor nearly as much SNMP data as we can on ePMP. The Mimosa is getting more reliable with the later firmware.

 

The ePMP has been rock solid since we started puting them up. The download speeds are slower. We can't break 100 Mbps in flexible mode on a 40 Mhz channel. But, GUI is better and we can really configure them better. cnMaestro is way better than Mimosa cloud management (cloud viewer).

 

Configuring a new Mimosa C5 out of the box for install is a 45 minute process minumum - when you don't have to force reset it. The provisioning app for smartphones does not work in our environment at all. We send out our radios pre-configured to the installer... ePMP radios get upgraded firmware and our default template installed in under 10 minutes.

 

We looked long and hard at changing to Mimosa for the speed reason alone. We decided to stay with ePMP and are happy with that decision. They just work better. And are much less expensive. IMO, the A5-14 is not worth $1,000.  At $500 I am interested in deploying those...

Contributor

Re: So why would I use ePMP/Cambium over Mimosa

We have a mix of several things on our network. ePMP we use for all AP to SM's.

Backhaul wise, we have a few sites still using ePMP PTP links, but have been slowly phasing those out with AF 5x and Mimosa B5C's.

The B5C's have been very impressive to us for BH locations we have used them, normally get 300+ on links. epmp ptp is rare to see more than 100.

This may be due to noise in our area however

Frequent Contributor

Re: So why would I use ePMP/Cambium over Mimosa

Hi Skullzaflare;

 

That is very interesting what you have observed and experienced with the ePMP PTP solution.   Are you suggesting that the Mimosa B5C's are better at interference handling (considering your environment) than the ePMP PTP solution?  Was the B5C's placed in the exact same location as the former ePMP PTP?  What type of distances are your backhauls?   Are you co-locating multiple B5C's on the same tower?  If I am not mistaken, the ePMP PTP supposedly does GPS synch and allows for better co-location experience.  Not sure if the Mimosa units also does the same.  Would you mind sharing what your signal strength is like.  Hopefully you can share what the ePMP PTP's were before decommissioning them.  Are the B5C's using the same channel size as the ePMP PTP's?

 

Why not use one of the other Cambium's PTP solutions instead of the Mimosa's PTP?   What was the overall deciding factor.  Was it due to primarily and solely for the poor ePMP PTP performance.  Or, not wanting to be committed to single vendor solution throughout your network?

 

The good part is that you can take those same ePMP PTP devices and redeploy them as regular clients to your customers.  You're not going to destroy the environment any further by tossing them into the dump immediately.

 

Contributor

Re: So why would I use ePMP/Cambium over Mimosa

Without going into great detail. Mimosa is glorified junk. Sure they have some cool features that drove them fast to market but the overall basic engineering just stinks. After numerous issues from Ethernet, RFI, software and hardware issues I quite literally threw them off the towers and installed PTP650/670 gear thus making life worry free again. Mimosa is an adult beverage served along side eggs and toast. Let's leave it that way.