Brand spanking new to the Cambium forums and Cambium equipment. We are a wisp of just over 2,000 customers. We started off using Alvarion gear. For years it was the same old, same old played out hardware. VERY reliable, but lacking some of the features that pretty much comes standard with some of today's CPE/AP offerings. We still have roughly 200 or so Alvarion units in the field.
After wanting more out of our equipment we looked over the fence at Ubiquiti. It really was a breath of fresh air from what we were used to with Alvarion. Fast forward a couple of years and a couple of thousand CPE's later and we really feel like UBNT's focus has changed. It used to be 100% driven by the WISP industry and it's WISP customers. Now it seems the focus has changed to Enterprise and residential and Solar and Cameras and...... Well, I think you get the picture. It really feels like what got them where they are today, the WISP, has taken a back seat. Which is really sad. The AirFiber side seems to remain focused, which IMHO is a good thing.
That said, that brings us to where we are today. Our first un-boxing of what I hope to be the first of many Cambium radios! I first opened the ePMP 1000 AP. To my excitement it reminded me of the rugged, bullet proof feel from that of Alvarion. I was surprised in the quality of the radio itself. It felt rugged. It felt like it was meant to withstand the tests of mother nature.
Logging into the radio was as expected. I loved seeing the notifications at the top of the page. I immediately upgraded the firmware to 3.0, along with upgrading the GPS firmware. I like the fact there is a GPS firmware as well as radio firmware. I kind of wish they would update all as one, but not a deal breaker. I LOVED seeing the two firmware banks, the main and the backup. Again, reminding me of the Alvarion days. The Gui itself I think is very well laid out. I was able to navigate around without any issues. No setting was hidden or anything like that.
All in all I am really looking forward to testing and using this product. One of the biggest issues I have with UBNT's M Series gear is the buggy firmware. One day a radio will be working just fine and then the next it will do something wacky and need a reboot or need a firmware update. Or better yet, for no reason at all, a radio will just reboot.
So that's the AP side of things. Onto the CPE side of things. Sorry, I know you guys like to call them SM's. I'm sticking with CPE. ;) The CPE was actually larger than I was expecting. (Force 180). Again, navigating the GUI, piece of cake. I love the fact that I can set up an installer login and password. I haven't messed with that portion of things yet, but that is an excellent feature to have. I really like the fact that you can put in Multiple SSID's. So if you have a customer that might be on the verge of a couple of SSID's I am assuming the system will pick which ever SSID's SNR is the best. I have not tested this but I am assuming that's how it works? I did notice something funky when running the CPE in NAT mode. My desktop (linux Mint) would get an IP from the DHCP server I set up on the Radio, but when I looked at the DHCP leases on the radio, my computer's IP wouldn't show up in the leases like I would expect it to? It shows in the ARP Table. So not sure what's going on there. Not a huge issue, but I definitely would like to figure out why that is happening.
All in all so far I am impressed at the hardware and software levels. Like I said, I haven't tested anything yet. We are doing a tower buildout tomorrow and this gear will be going up. Once I have more on the performance side of things, I will let everyone know.
P.S. This is 5GHz gear we are talking about. Figured I'd mention that. Not sure why. LOL