A Closer Look At WiBACK Hardware

Taking a closer look at our hardware, two different types of devices can be identified:

The WiBACK Controller consists of an x86 system board (from low power Atom to 1U server) is typically located indoors and acts as the gateways between a WiBACK backhaul and a fixed network infrastructure (backbone). Most of the WiBACK self-x functionality is implemented in this device, including monitoring, spectrum management, E2E QoS provisioning and overall network management. Conceptually multiple Controllers can be present in a network to reduce the risk associated with a single point of failure.

The Controller manages traffic paths inside the WiBACK network and ensures that individual links will not be overloaded. In particular, links for voice traffic will always run at very low latency and close-to-zero packet loss.

WiBACK Node-2-Connect devices can be clustered (via their Ethernet interface) to build a wireless router, an intersection inside a larger wireless network. This allows the implementation of fully meshed wide-area wireless networks, with redundant physical links between endpoints. An advantage of the clustering concept is that the modem hardware can be located close to the antenna, thus keeping antenna cables short.

Conceptually, all radio nodes could be equipped with different radio technologies. To date, professional-grade IEEE 802.11 (WiFi) equipment provides the optimal cost/performance ratio, but other technologies could be supported, as well. The modular WiBACK concept is future proof and allows for an easy integration of upcoming technologies such as mmWave.

Independent of the technologies inside the WiBACK backhaul, WiBACK provides transparent Ethernet on its Edge interfaces via standard Ethernet ports. Alternatively, the built-in WiFi radios can be configured to operate as WiFi Access Points. Furthermore, WiBACK nodes can act as a backhaul for IoT networks and our nodes can be equipped with a integrated LoRaWAN gateway.

All WiBACK hardware is built upon carefully selected COTS components (x86/ARM system board) to ensure an optimal cost/performance ratio at a very low energy footprint. Hence, our outdoor nodes can be easily solar-powered and the Node-4-Connect even already includes a charge controller for LiFePo batteries (our built-in battery is dimensioned for 24/7/365 operation in areas roughly within the equatorial belt).

To foster local economies and human capacity building, we make blue prints of our hardware platform freely available to our partners and provide tutorials to enable them to locally procure, produce and repair their devices.