OK so maybe I was a little harsh in the title, but to be honest. It’s quite true for the UK right now.
MikroTiks wireless wire truly is a groundbreaking product, Gigabit full duplex link over wireless at a total retail cost of less than £200 but if something sounds to good to be true, it usually is. The form factor of these units following the WAP build is great, small, versatile and outdoor grade, they feel so well made with a good weight to them. The box comes presented well and they have a nearly premium feel when you are opening the package (something which normally eludes even the expensive MikroTik products). Out of the box they follow MikroTiks normal IP convention of being on 192.168.88.0/24 space and are addressed and fully secured from the off, you can literally connect them and start passing traffic over them. So I did.
Performance was just as good as expected, with the units in very close proximity (probably a little too close) they were quite capable of maintaining a +800Mb speed test although that was using the built in bandwidth tester which is quite notorious for not being as efficient as it could be. Single duplex tests were slightly better as expected and when the connection was limited to “only” 500Mb either direction latency was measured at <1ms. At full tilt the latency did get a little wobbly but again I’m more along the lines of thinking this was the CPU’s in the devices that the actual link limitations.
So why won’t we be using this?
Unfortunately for our country whilst the use of the 60Ghz frequencies mentioned is license exempt, there are stipulations you need to adhere to, this one falls over in that whilst MikroTik haven’t officially released the specs, it is speculated the antenna gain in them is around 13dB which falls short of OFCOMs guideline stating that you need to use a minimum of 30dB to legally use the 60Ghz spectrum outdoors (page 2 if you’re interested). For the time being this means that this amazing wireless wire product is indoor use only.
There is a company though in Poland who are currently developing some larger antenna for them http://siec.multimediahd.pl/
So whilst the Gigabit full duplex low latency low price link is something we certainly want to see more of, you won’t be seeing one mounted externally anywhere near you any time soon (well not legally anyway).
MikroTik website product link here