Transformational Nature of WaveTunnel Technology

The question often comes up as to why Airvine went down the path of developing an entirely new in-building networking solution when the legacy approach of using structured wiring is so well entrenched. Is a new solution really necessary?

To answer that question, we must look at the dynamic nature of the modern enterprise.  Be it an MDU, a hotel, large warehouse, sports arena or an office complex the age of stringing wire through the rafters and leaving it up there for 40 years has passed. These business entities are changing rapidly, and they need a network that is as agile, flexible, and adaptable as the business it supports. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the gamut of new applications. sweeping through the enterprise. The list here includes everything from augmented reality to the Internet-of-things, and this is only the beginning. It’s time to rethink in-building enterprise networking.

We are already seeing major changes in access networks where Ethernet continues to recede in importance in most enterprises. This trend will only accelerate as we move to Wi- Fi 6E and eventually 7. There is a lot to be said for 6E, and it starts with the “E” which adds 1.2 GHz of NEW spectrum for use by Wi-Fi access points (In the U.S.). But 6E isn’t just about spectrum, it provides low latency, deterministic performance, throughput that approaches 10 Gbps, roaming, capacity, and much better security. It’s almost perfect!

WaveTunnel Technology is the Perfect Complement to Wi-Fi 6E/7

While we are seeing great strides in access technologies, we’ve not been seeing commensurate advances in the required backhaul systems. That’s about to change with the launch of the WaveTunnel system from Airvine. This is easily the most innovative piece of in-building network technology to come along in decades. It’s tailor-made for modern radio access networks based on technologies like Wi-Fi 6E, and eventually private 5G small cells.

WaveTunnel technology delivers a host of advantages that can be leveraged across just about every enterprise vertical and that list includes:

  • Supporting more than just computer connectivity means broadband services need to be turned-up anywhere in the enterprise in a matter of minutes. These services make it possible for any application to be quickly enabled, regardless of throughput, latency, or security concerns.
  • IT – OT segmentation. OT networks are rolling out in enterprises worldwide, but for security reasons it’s always best to physically separate these networks from the more vulnerable IT networks. This is easily done with WaveTunnel as a parallel but distinct network.
  • Fast and easy moves, adds, and changes that allow the network to be as agile as the business it supports.  No more waiting for weeks or months for a network reconfiguration.
  • No business disruptions during installs.
  • Gigabit/sec data transfer rates.
  • Easily installed in ANY kind of building.
  • Very cost-effective when deployed in concert with technologies like Wi-Fi 6E.

So, how might WaveTunnel technology be deployed in the modern enterprise?

The following are a couple of examples of how the convergence of WaveTunnel technology with broadband access technologies like Wi-Fi 6E can enable the host of new applications hitting the network from IoT to AR/VR.

Versatile Ring-based Deployment

A 30,000 square foot building could be covered with Wi-Fi 6E access points at each of ten different locations. These APs can be backhauled with Airvine technology. A total of two wireless rings would do the job. Each ring has 5 remote nodes, and each remote node would be connected to a a Wi-Fi 6E AP at that location. The 6th WaveTunnel node would sit at the “unwiring” closet, and traffic would go from there to the enterprise backbone. Traffic is carried in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions on the wireless ring, and each wireless hop has a 100-meter limit. As changes are made to the access network to address business imperatives, the backhaul network can easily be adjusted. All changes can be handled on a DIY (do-it-yourself) basis. No wiring contractors are required.

What Makes This Approach So Compelling:

  • Very cost effective when compared to solutions that involve pulling of wire all over the building.
  • Creates an extremely agile network that can easily adapt to changing business conditions.
  • Very robust architecture that survives single points of failure.
  • Simple to install and maintain.

Deployments in Really Large Buildings

The above example can also be applied to factories, warehouses, and large public venues (LPV) where very large areas must be covered and where the business is operating on a 24 by 7 basis. In this case the access networks will still be based on Wi-Fi 6E technology but will now be supporting both IT and OT networks. IT traffic should always be physically separated from OT traffic for security reasons. Industrial applications are also areas where private 5G small cell technology will get deployed (usually for OT applications). These different radio access networks (as many as 3 in some cases) are easily backhauled by WaveTunnel system. The actual deployment can make use of a multiple wireless rings that can be made to cover the largest buildings.  The 100-meter distance between hops means that these rings can be really large, and the quick and easy installs are perfect for an enterprise that runs 24 by 7.

What Makes This Approach So Appealing:

  • Can cover a very large area with a wireless ring.
  • Can support private 5G small cells (future) as well as Wi-Fi 6E APs.
  • Very robust network architecture that can easily survive a single point of failure.
  • Changes can be made without disrupting the business, which will often run 24 by 7.


These two examples will give you an idea of the versatility of the Airvine approach. The wireless ring architecture has proven to be very popular in a variety of different verticals as it can be used to build networks that cover small areas and very large areas. It’s the perfect solution for backhauling broadband wireless access networks in a secure, reliable, and flexible way. It has applicability in a host of verticals including hospitality, MDUs, and higher education.

Originally Posted on August 20, 2021 by Steve Hratko