Introducing the New Mimosa A5 Access Device Network Planner

By Scott Wierstra

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Following the entry of Mimosa Access solutions into the market, we are excited to add Mimosa cloud support for our new A5-14 and A5-18 access devices using our network design tool. With this launch, we are building on our successful PTP planner, allowing you to quickly prototype and estimate the performance of access and backhaul Mimosa products in your network, and select the optimal product to fit your use case and meet expectations. We have updated the design tool application and built an improved framework allowing you to design an entire wireless ISP and continue to expand on your current PTP network designs. Some of the key new features included in this update include our A5-14 and A5-18 network planner, estimating PTMP utilization and range based on your expected customer deployment model, and a feature that allows the creation of network groups.

A5-14 and A5-18 Planning

In interactions with our community over the last 12 months, two common questions about deploying our A5 access products have been raised. 

The first question people often ask us is, how far can your A5 access device effectively connect to a client? With the new feature release, we have made it as easy as right clicking on your target A5 location and simply adding a new A5 product, or you can add an A5 to an existing PTP network location. You will instantly know the range of your new install based on what we recommend as the maximum distance for a successful A5 customer install. In the access point planner, it is easy to then adjust various radio settings and A5 product types to dive deeper on what sort of range and performance you can expect at that location. If you know that you have access to a high antenna, you can use the extended gain and built-in mechanical down tilt of the A5-18. Or you can use the A5-14 to target medium density subscribers with the short range MicroPoP model, offering your customers true high-speed wireless internet. Using our tool, you can quickly determine the number of AP’s you need to effectively cover an entire small town or suburb with your service. 

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The second question we frequently see is how many C5 client subscribers can I install on a single A5 access device? The calculation is quite detailed so we have built in a utilization model that will help you model each A5 access device based on your expected deployment. You can enter the number of expected customers, expected peak utilization per customer, and the maximum required throughput. We use this information to calculate the approximate airtime usage based on your deployment, so that you can see what the expected A5 utilization would be. We have learned that the key to being a successful WISP is the subscriber internet experience and we model our utilization output to ensure a successful deployment. The airtime utilization model is based on the expectation that your customers are relatively evenly distributed in the expected range of your A5 access device deployment. If your expected distribution is outside the range, you can expect higher utilization numbers and lower performance than presented and if you are closer to the access point, you can expect lower utilization numbers and better performance.

We hope that by answering these two primary questions for you, you can successfully expand your customer base and effectively design your deployment using our cutting edge A5 technology. We will be adding more features to our A5 PTMP planning tool over the few months, starting with A5c support in the next couple of weeks. Other upcoming features include protocol-based utilization modeling to help you dive deeper into our custom PTMP TDMA and CSMA technology, and a full subscriber modeling system to accurately predict performance and line of site to each of your prospective customers.

Network Groups

In addition to adding an access point planning tool, it became fairly clear to us that in order for you to easily manage an entire network of backhauls, access points and over time, individual subscribers, we needed to add support for network groups. The network groups feature allows you to easily design networks of 1,000’s of nodes and fully plan your network deployment to a much larger scale. You can quickly access groups from the new left hand asset menu, and when you select a group, you will be zoomed to that collection of assets. 

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During the development of this feature, we worked with several of our existing power users to look into how they currently edit their network design. We added a new feature that allows all existing users to move their existing network designs into the new group-based architecture, using a new feature called merge groups. If you are an existing user or want to create larger groups, you can open the edit menu, and quickly select any selection of existing assets to merge into a single group. Once you merge those assets into a grouped object, they will become quickly accessible from the menu and you can start adding new access points to your existing network.

With the addition of the new planning and group features, we have built a great new framework to start quickly adding more new features, that will help you grow your business and help you deploy our products successfully. We hope you enjoy the updated network design tool, and feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you have any feedback or new feature requests.