Airvine, developer of a multi-Gigabit-speed wireless backhaul system for indoor connectivity, announced the general availability of its WaveTunnel product line. The shoebox-sized module mounts on ceilings and other interior high points to provide high speed connectivity for the ever-expanding menu of enterprise applications, whether information  or operational tech. WaveTunnel systems, which can be installed in hours, fill the broadband gap that exists within many large interior spaces by extending LAN reach or upgrading the performance of older 1 Gb/s Ethernet CAT 5 cables.  

WaveTunnel operates in the interference-free 60 GHz band, where there is also plenty of spectrum to provide on first release a multi-Gb/s backbone connectivity capability. Typically, 60 GHz systems operate on a line-of-sight (LOS) basis. WaveTunnel, however, can penetrate most indoor walls as well as ”beam steer” around corners, making it a true non-LOS 60 GHz system. This breakthrough capability greatly simplifies and expedites network set-up and operational readiness.

Airvine is initially targeting four industry sectors:  multi-dwelling residential units (MDU); the hospitality sector (e.g., hotels); large venues such as convention centers and stadia; and the increasing number of “Industry 4.0” manufacturing or warehouse environments, which are replete with AI/ML, advanced robotics, HD video-based sensing and other high-bandwidth applications. WaveTunnel will begin shipping at the end of February to early adopter customers in these industry sectors and the company expects volume production capability by 2Q 2023.

The WaveTunnel network itself consists of root and end nodes, all managed by VineSuite. A root node is the network anchor, typically placed in a wiring closet to connect to the WAN or other portions of the LAN. End nodes can then be deployed in various topologies, such as spur or ring configurations.   

Fast and simple installation is made possible as actual construction work is minimized – no drilling, no sawing, no patching and painting over holes in walls, for instance.   The WaveTunnel system is ideal for upgrading or extending existing wired LANs.  It can also be deployed as a companion network allowing complete segmentation of OT and IT for maximum security.

Augmenting the WaveTunnel system is the VineSuite software platform, which facilitates network set-up and operation. The platform includes:

  • VineOS – based on Airvine’s customized MAC layer, which enables network configurations such as spine and resilient ring
  • VineManager – a simple and clean browser-based GUI for installing, monitoring and operating the WaveTunnel network
  • AirvineMobile – the smartphone version of VineManager.

The near-term VineSuite roadmap includes a timing protocol enhancement to enable 5G small-cell backhaul and the VineIQ feature, which is a module for greater network monitoring and performance adjustment capabilities that includes a predictive failure function.   

“No matter what the setting, LANs are being pushed to do more and provide a foundation of connectivity for more devices and applications than ever before,” said Airvine CEO Vivek Ragavan. “While WaveTunnel is state-of-the-art for new facilities, it is also a great way to complement or retrofit existing networks, whether that LAN backbone is cable or fiber. What WaveTunnel offers is multi-Gigabit-performance with a simple installation process and added network security benefits – performance that serves you now and a foundation to build on for the future.”

“Leveraging 60 GHz frequencies in indoor environments to offer multi-gigabit capacity where re-wiring is cost prohibitive is an absolute game-changer,” said Zach Hubeck, executive vice president of marketing for WAV, a distributor of end-to-end broadband network systems. “Vivek and his team blew us away with the simplicity, ease of deployment and capabilities of the product. We look forward to introducing this ground-breaking technology to our integrator and managed service provider customers in hospitality, MDU and various other environments.”

Dean Bubley, founder of wireless industry analyst firm Disruptive Analysis and an Advisor to Airvine, added, “Most future enterprise application and device use will be indoors, often with a wireless connection. But whether the final link is over Wi-Fi, private 5G or another technology, there will always need to be high-performance backhaul from the access point.  Yet it is not always possible to use fiber, as there may be walls, obstacles or simply a lack of skilled installers.  WaveTunnel addresses these problemsand helps improve overall indoor network flexibility and time-to-deploy.”