Epmp3k vs ltu rocket

I am planning to start the deployment of a wisp network in the coming few weeks.  I've talked to a couple wisp operators and they both say they are very pleased with ubnt equipment.  I've tried to contact cambium a couple times but i've never recieved any response so I started looking seriously at ubnt and I see that they have basically two options for access points, the airmax ac and the ltu rocket.  I don't really care much for the airmax ac for a few reasons.  The build quality, especially of the antennas, just doesn't look that great or clean.  The radios themselves are so inexpensive that I just can't imagine they would perform as good as the e3k.  But I have no experience to back this up and i've heard good and bad about both ubnt and cambium.  The lack of any response to a business who potentially could spend around a 100k on their products over a few years isn't very encouraging either.  I've never tried to contact ubnt so I don't know how their customer support is.  Either way, the newest AP from ubiquiti is the LTU rocket which certainly seems like it would be a great product if it does what they say it will.  It's new enough that there isn't very much data on how it performs in the real world but the few reveiws i've read say that it is very susceptible to interference and that the range is quite limited.  I've heard that the e3k regularly provides links over 8 miles or so.  I don't know why this would be, and I'm not sure if it can be fixed with firmware or not.  I've heard that cambium has a poorer quality user interface that ubnt but I'm not sure if this has changed.  What are your thoughts?  I want to build a quality network and I am willing to make the larger investment to use cambium but only if it is worth it.  Thanks!

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Thank you for posting to the community. I will forward your information to the ePMP and PMP teams. Please check out our ePMP and PMP case studies at https://www.cambiumnetworks.com/resources/?resource-cat%5B%5D=72 or let me know if you are looking to speak with an operator in your area.

Ray

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@ekkllc wrote:

I am planning to start the deployment of a wisp network in the coming few weeks.  I've talked to a couple wisp operators and they both say they are very pleased with ubnt equipment.  I've tried to contact cambium a couple times but i've never recieved any response so I started looking seriously at ubnt and I see that they have basically two options for access points, the airmax ac and the ltu rocket.  I don't really care much for the airmax ac for a few reasons.  The build quality, especially of the antennas, just doesn't look that great or clean.  The radios themselves are so inexpensive that I just can't imagine they would perform as good as the e3k.  But I have no experience to back this up and i've heard good and bad about both ubnt and cambium.  The lack of any response to a business who potentially could spend around a 100k on their products over a few years isn't very encouraging either.  I've never tried to contact ubnt so I don't know how their customer support is.  Either way, the newest AP from ubiquiti is the LTU rocket which certainly seems like it would be a great product if it does what they say it will.  It's new enough that there isn't very much data on how it performs in the real world but the few reveiws i've read say that it is very susceptible to interference and that the range is quite limited.  I've heard that the e3k regularly provides links over 8 miles or so.  I don't know why this would be, and I'm not sure if it can be fixed with firmware or not.  I've heard that cambium has a poorer quality user interface that ubnt but I'm not sure if this has changed.  What are your thoughts?  I want to build a quality network and I am willing to make the larger investment to use cambium but only if it is worth it.  Thanks!


Hello,

Welcome to our community and thank you for posting this message. First and foremost, I would really like to understand how Cambium failed in responding to you as that should be rectified as a priority. Could you possibly tell me where/who you contacted so we can get better at this?

Secondly, you are at a very interesting juncture and need a lot of information to make a good decision. I can help you with that. We have a ton of experience around UBNT products, the good the bad and obviously can talk extensively about why Cambium both from technical perspective, long term strategy and partnership opportunities. We also have some promotions running for start up WISPs just like yourself that can make evaluation quite easy. We can provide the full run down on WISP planning, RF planning, product choices, capabilities etc. Interestingly enough we also just finished some competitive testing against LTU in an un-biased fashion which we can share. It really boils down to things like MUMIMO as one of the key differentioars. The ePMP3K UI is very simple and we can also walk you through that. 

I strongly suggest a dedicated one hour webinar with our team to help you make this decision. You can email me directly at sakid.ahmed@cambiumnetworks.com and we will set this up right away.

Thx

Sakid

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LTU relies heavily on higher order modulations, above 256QAM in order to deliver these speeds. This requires very high SnR... so avoiding noise and short distances are the key to getting the most out of LTU. It's also not compatible with AC, so a lot of operators that have large AC deployments that know and love Ubiquiti's AC radios aren't keen on putting up completely new/different technology. Most people that are deploying LTU are doing so in a 'green field' setting. Last I checked the software was pretty far behind what the AC line is capable of, and there's a lack of LTU client diversity that the AC line has. Lastly, Ubiquiti has been really tight lipped on the future of LTU and if it will bands other then 5GHz... or even the new 5.9-6GHz bands. I know a number of people that got their 5.9 FCC STA and Ubiquiti still has not released a firmware update to allow them to use it. The lack of response during the COVID crisis, transparency on what's going on, and no product road maps available, does not sit well with me.

The e3k focuses on MU-MIMO to increase aggregate throughput. MU-MIMO also gives some multiplexing gains as well, this coupled with a more easily achievable 256QAM modulation, allows for longer shots to be made. Another thing that people like about the e3k is that it's backwards and forwards compatible with all of the ePMP portfolio. So you can start off with a small inexpensive lower end AP, and as your customer count grows and you need more capacity, you can swap out the AP, and possibly key clients with AC clients and drastically increase your throughput. You could even use a e1k AP and AC clients on it... and then when you're ready to turbo charge the AP, just swap it out with an e3k... and with all your clients already at AC, you'll see some very nice gains.

Cambium gives you a lot of flexibility in this regard. Another thing I like is that I can use GPS sync between their ePMP and PMP450 products. This makes collocation so much easier on densely populated sites.

I think a hidden gem of the ePMP line is the 2.4GHz radio. It works great, it's the best 2.4 radio out there IMHO. Then there's Cambium stepping up and providing customer firmware for 5.9 STA users right away, and also committing to opening up all their radios when 5.9 becomes permanently available.

Lastly, if you want frequency freedom... 5GHz, 2.4, 3GHz/CBRS, 900MHz... Cambium is the only game in town that has a full portfolio of radios for you to choose from.

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If you want your network just to work without spending the rest of your life waiting for the next firmware, use ubnt. I cannot comment on the ubnt ltu stuff though as I’ve not used it.
Cambium build quality is no better than ubnt and failure rate is higher in my experience.
Cambium support is better - they do try to help you. They also accept returns on faulty gear without fuss.
No matter which brand you go with I hope you’re ready to spend a lot of time on your network and I hope you enjoy [wireless] networking.
Good luck!

I have both in the same location and azimuth
LTU wins:

  1. Price
  2. Latency
  3. Real UPLOAD speed
  4. Real DL + QOS speed results !!! speedtest.net
    MU-MIMO is slow and fickle sometimes it won’t start right away.
    DL burst & QOS for epmp3000 is a joke compared to LTU.

EPMP wins:

  1. NLOS
  2. Sometimes in noisy environment, DL is more efficient

At the moment, without the Flex mode (Latency & UL boost) for the epmp3000 it is an expensive toy not worth the money.

+ePMP

  • Forward/Backward compatibility and Elevate
  • Stability and performance in bad weather conditions (eg.mountain tower installation)
  • High amount of connected clients
  • BSA for UPLOAD
  • Working GPS sync between the towers
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-ePMP

all connection is on the air… its not good for high mountain & sea…
we isolate them with silicon or other material…
PLs consider future case same as 450m or 400C

Regards

Both UBNT and Cambium firmware issues and waits are frustrating at times but at least I havent had to wait 6months (or more!) for a Cambium update that I needed, UBNT has gotten better but its still a shot in the dark about if/when a update will come.

Hardware wise the two are comparable though I personally have found the Cambium hardware to be less prone to dieing on install. Cambium is more expensive but not so much that it is a deal breaker. The active support and easy RMA process is worth the extra cash spent in my opinion. I have a dead ac5-hd that UBNT wont even acknowledge despite it dieing under warranty.

Both have GPS timing, but Cambium allows you to use (with one exception) sync over power, which is the way to go for very stable single point sync source. (Packetflux’s Cambium Sync POE injector and SyncBox jr will sync all of Cambiums syncable radios, fully compatible with the UGPS and CMM systems) though you can also use the internal GPS unit with or without the external antenna (though there are those that have had nothing but troubles with the internal GPS, which could also be said of UBNTs sync system)

The biggest bonuses to the ePMP is the backward/forward compatibility, I have a version 1.0 SM on a e3kL AP without any troubles and it doesnt slow the AP down at all. There is also the interference rejection capabilities, which I personally have found the epmp hardware to be superior. Same throughput with a lower modulation scheme and in some cases a smaller channel sized is also better at ensuring interference doesnt take down a link.

Dont get swayed by our community dissenters, we keep them because our community doesnt hide/remove bad publicity.

Both companies have different ways of doing the same thing, so its best to get some testing hardware and try them.

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What distances are you running on that location? We are mainly UBNT AC and have installed a handful of ePMP3000Ls. I’m thinking LTU is only useful to around 2.5Km and above that ePMP3000 is the tool to use?

Our per tower service cell is 10mi (16km) and we have SMs at all distances.

LTU may be useful for longer than 2.5km but considering its not compatible with anything else rf wise (frame size, tdd scheduling, channel spacing) we are not even looking at it as an option.

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