Hopefully you can see where I’m going with this… years and years ago… I setup an infrared point to point wireless bridge between two buildings across a public street that promised 100Mbps connectivity. Initially the solution delivered on its promise… we had 100Mbps of connectivity without any monthly telcom charges. It was seen by the purse holders as a huge success for it’s near $0 operating cost. That was until 7 months later when old man winter came calling… ice buildup on the infrared cameras and condensation inside the housing required some maintenance activities which ultimately led to alignment issues and it all went downhill from there. It was incredibly difficult and painful standing on the 6th floor of a hospital roof in 11F temperatures leaning out over a parapet wall trying to align a pointer with an object 500 ft away. Needless to say I was left somewhat scarred by the experience.
I had another opportunity to try my hand at a point to point wireless solution albeit somewhat reluctantly. In this case the distance that we needed to span was about 1,500 ft. The construction costs to pull fiber into this building was in excess of $50,000 so I reluctantly starting looking at wireless solutions. Ultimately I landed on the Ubiquiti NanoBeam AC Gen2 (NBE-5AC-GEN2-US) solution. It was relatively inexpensive and wouldn’t cost much to actually install and see if it would work. That was 18 months ago… and that sucker hasn’t dropped a packet since [knock knock].
In real world iPerf testing we get about 350 Mbps through the link which is pretty awesome considering the solution was essentially under $1000 with the surge arresters and installation.
I can’t say that everyone will have this level of success… but seeing how relatively inexpensive these devices are it seems well worth the gamble given that you might pay $1,500/monthly for a 500Mbps Ethernet circuit… that’s $18,000/yearly. If it works the solution will essentially pay for itself in the first month of operation.
Now don’t go all crazy… you’ll need line of site between the two locations and growing trees can present interesting problems. And if a new building or structure pops up between your wireless endpoints, well you’ll be out of luck.
You might be asking so what did I do to resolve the issues with the infrared cameras 10 years ago? We were able to contract with Sunesys, now Crown Castle to lease 4 fiber strands between the two buildings. The local electrical utility wanted $40,000 to replace two telephone polls when I tried to pull the fiber myself so we went with Sunesys who had the fiber installed and running in 2 weeks – no new telephone polls required.
Are you running any point to point wireless solutions?