History of Wireless LAN Vendors – Ubiquiti Networks

History of Wireless LAN Vendors – Ubiquiti Networks

On October 14, 2011, Ubiquiti went public and as of January 13, 2012, UBNT’s market cap is over $2 BILLION and looks like it is trending up.

Per a Forbes.com article “in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2011, Ubiquiti netted $64 million on $243 million in sales. That 26% net margin is the highest of any publicly traded computer hardware firm, according to FactSet Research Systems.”

Some other nuggets from article.

– Nearly 70% of Ubiquiti’s top line comes from developing countries like Brazil, Indonesia and the Czech Republic, often in spots where there are simply no cables in the ground

– Ubiquiti has no direct sales force and operates globally using resellers

– Ubiquiti makes systems that provide Internet access for as few as ten people within a 9-mile radius, to 10,000 customers (or more) within a 36-mile radius.

– Motorola’s former Canopy unit (now called Cambium Networks) charges $2 million to $4 million for a system with 10,000 subscribers; Ubiquiti’s equivalent system goes for $1.65 million.

History of Ubiquiti Networks

Wikipedia says that “Ubiquiti Networks formally entered the wireless technology market in June 2005, after announcing its “Super Range” mini-PCI radio card series”. Not sure what “formally” means but below is Ubiquiti Networks’ website front page from March 22, 2004 which seems to indicate that they already were public with info about the Super Range and AP-ONE products.


Early on, Ubiquiti Networks was best known for their Super Range internal WiFi cards for embedded systems. A quick trip down memory lane of their 2006 product line is below.

Embedded Mini-PCI

Super Range 2 – 2.4 GHz Band Card

Super Range 3 – 3.5 GHz Licensed Band Card

Super Range 4 – 4.9 GHz Public Safety Band Card

Super Range 5 – 5 GHz 802.11a Card

Super Range 9 – 900-928 MHz Unlicensed Band Card

Portable Cardbus Adapters
Super Range Cardbus – one of the best 802.11 a/b/g cardbus cards. Still have one in my desk drawer. Waiting for cardbus PC Card slots come back to laptops (sigh).

Mesh Basestation


The AP-ONE was pushed as a high powered mesh AP with very sensitive radios. Back then city wide WiFi network builders were looking for ways to reduce the number of access points needed to cover large areas vendors were pushing high power radios as solution.

“The AP-ONE can instantly create ubiqutious, scalable Wi-Fi networks. Featuring world class output power (1 Watt, 30dBm) and 802.11 receive sensitivity (-98 dBm), the AP-ONE is powerful enough to penetrate walls. Additionally, an independent 1 Watt 108 Mbps 5.8 GHz radio provides a fast and clean backhaul connection to create powerful mesh networks.”

Subscriber Station

LiteStation 2


Around 2006, I stopped tracking Ubiquiti Networks. Not sure why but most likely because enterprise players like Cisco and startups like Airespace, Aruba Networks, and Trapeze were getting all the press. While these vendors fought for who had the most enterprise market share according to Dell’Oro and who was in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, Ubiquiti Networks continued to add products that addressed the needs of Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) in emerging markets.

By 2008 they had four additional products lines.

The Bullet – Allows any antenna to become a radio system starting at $39.

NanoStation loco – A low cost wireless CPE device that started at $49.

PicoStation – A small form factor access point.

RouterStation – An embedded single board computer that was compatible with Ubiquiti cards.

Ubiquiti SR71 Series

Ubiquiti’s high performance wireless-cards based on an Atheros AR9160 which supports 802.11a/b/g/n.


MiniPCI Express


MiniPCI (not express); 2,4GHz & 5,4GHz; 3 Antenna Connectors (3×3 MIMO); 24dBm, +/-2dB


MiniPCI (not express); only 2,4GHz (b/g/n); 2 Antenna Connectors (2×2 MIMO); 27dBm, +/-2dB


MiniPCI (not express); only 5,4GHz (a/n); 2 Antenna Connectors (2×2 MIMO); 27dBm, +/-2dB


Cardbus; 2,4GHz & 5,4GHz; 2 Antenna Connectors (2×2 MIMO); 24dBm, +/-2dB


USB; 2,4GHz & 5,4GHz; 2 Antenna Connectors (2×2 MIMO); 24dBm, +/-2dB

SR71 Express Card


By early 2010 Ubiquiti Networks started marketing the AirMax product line, a full range wireless ISP solution as a lower cost alternative to products big name telecom equipment vendors were offering.

UniFi WNMS and Access Points

Towards the end of 2010, Ubiquiti released a wireless network management system (WNMS) and access points as their UniFi product line.

“Unlike traditional enterprise WiFi systems utilizing a hardware WiFi Switch, Unifi uses a virtual client/server application that requires zero cost and no additional hardware.”

UniFi Indoor and Outdoor APs

UniFi AP Mini

UniFi AP

UniFi AP Long Range

UniFi AP Outdoor


In August 2011, Ubiquiti announced the AirVision IP Camera/Network Video Recorder Management System and airCam, airCam Dome, airCam Mini cameras.

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