802.11 based WISP hardware

Hi all,

I’m looking to gather some public opinion, links and pointers around the current landscape of WISP hardware vendors. I’m familiar with Cisco, Ruckus, AdTran, Motorola and Aruba (HP) but I’m wondering who else is out there that folks have used with success. My main areas of interest are around controller based (hardware or virtual (in-house, not off-net cloud based)) systems that have a range of indoor & outdoor 802.11AC PoE capable APs. The controller(s) would be capable of tunnelling traffic from the APs for one or more SSIDs, support per-SSID captive portals and unique, intra-SSID captive portals. In a perfect world, an on-board DHCP server would be super handy too. The system should support CAPWAP, but some proprietary alternative is also fine, the usual suite of security protocols per SSID, reliable intra-SSID AP roaming algorithms and multi-SSID capable.

Thanks in advance.

Definitely take a look at Mikrotik. The gear is very low-cost with very large feature set. I have not used their CAPWAP functionality, so I can't speak to that.

Ubiquiti is also very good and can do most, if not all, of what you want.


Dan Brisson
Network Engineer
University of Vermont

In my experience in the rural areas around DFW most of the smaller operations, such as I had until recently, used Mikrotik equipment. Around here SkyBeam has bought out all of the small and most of the large WISPs. They retired the Mikrotik equipment in favor of Motorola Canopy originally. I was told the Canopy line may have been sold to someone else. I think Cambium.

The Mikrotik equipment I had at the top of my 96 foot tall tower was rock solid. Never a hiccup in years of service in all kinds of weather. Of course I did a proper standards based installation including bonding and grounding. Proper installation makes a big difference no matter what you use.

Kenneth M. Chipps Ph.D.

Try Unifi by Ubiquiti. We use it for our public hotspots and our internal network. Very easy to manage, and you can load the controller in a VMWare instance.

Eric Rogers
(317) 831-3000 x200

Typically WISP refers to an outdoor fixed wireless provider, not local area WiFi deployments.

Ken Chipps, there's a name I haven't seen in a while.

Motorola did sell the Canopy line off to private equity and is now Cambiun Networks.

I started with Mikrotik in my WISP and still use them for routers and switches, but I cannot recommend them for the fixed wireless portion. They haven't pursued FCC certification for 5150 - 5350 or 5470 - 5725.

I would also caution those considering ubiquiti for anything fixed right now. They have a number of unaddressed issues with UNII frequencies and DFS.

Jared Mauch

I have noticed that larger companies do not like Mikrotik. Its market centered on the mom and pop operations around here.