Wireless connectivity: how to choose the best equipment for long distance wireless links

Wireless is the new darling of the industry and
understandably so, everyone is jumping at it. For a successful deployment of a
wireless link using the unlicensed 5GHz frequency spectrum, you need to
understand the equipment that meet your requirements. Apart from line of sight,
factors like distance, bandwidth requirement, and interference must be put into
consideration when planning for the deployment of wireless links. In this
article, I will be sharing with us how to choose the best equipment given some
requirements from a client.

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Lets assume we have a
client that has asked us to help connect two offices that are over 100km apart with bandwidth requirement of about 120Mbps. With such requirements, you need a high-powered radio that can transmit wireless signals across the given distance with data rates that meet the client’s bandwidth needs. Firstly,
you need to get the coordinates of both locations, enter them on google earth
and analyse. A successful analyses will help determine the altitudes at both
ends. This will help you determine how high you have to go at each location to
be able to have quality signal. Next is to choose your radios and antennas.
Choosing the radio
Given the bandwidth
requirement and distance, I have two radios in mind. They are the Mikrotik
Netmetal RB920 and the Ubiquiti Air Fiber 5X. Both radios are dual chain,
capable of connecting to high-powered Ubiquiti rocke dish.
Mikrotik Netmetal

The Mikrotik Netmetal RB920 supports 802.11ac with channel width of 20/40/80 Mhz, giving you data rates of up 800Mbps. With the superchannel feature on Mikrotik, frequencies with less noise can be carefully selected to give optimum performance. For long distance links with huge bandwidth demand, using a pair of Mikrotik Netmetal on a pair of 34dbi Ubiquiti rocket dish will get the job done.
Ubiquiti Air Fiber

The Ubiquiti Air Fiber 5x is quite suitable for long
distance links. It can be deployed to successfully connect sites that are up to
200km apart, provided there is the existence of line of sight between them. It
is dual chain, making it suitable for deployment with the rocket dish. Though
strict on frequency utilization, the Air Fiber 5x can provide data rates of up
to 500Mbps when deployed on point to point links, using frequencies with less

Ubiquiti Rocket Dish 34dbi

Rocket dish can be used with the Rocket M5, Netmetal, and Air Fiber 5x to
produce high data rates on long distance wireless links.
I chose this solution because it is less
expensive to replace any damage component like the pigtail instead of replacing
the entire radio.

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Ashioma Michael, a BSc (Computer Science)., MTCNA, CCNA, and CCNP holder with many years of industry-proven experience in network design, implementation and optimization. He has tutored and guided many professionals towards obtaining their Cisco certifications. Mike works as a senior network engineer with one of the leading internet service providers in West Africa.

4 thoughts on “Wireless connectivity: how to choose the best equipment for long distance wireless links

  • December 11, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Nice. Thank you for the information.

  • December 12, 2017 at 6:39 am

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