airFiber – The Differences Between airFiber5X and Rocket 5AC


This article describes the differences between the AF5X (this also applies to the AF2X and AF3X) and the airMax AC radio.

The airFiber-X’s Key Features

  • Support up to 1024QAM – Lowest cost radio in the market to support 1024QAM compared to 256QAM max modulation that WiFi-based devices can reach.
  • Ubiquiti proprietary HDD mode – Completely decouples latency from distance. Effectively, the farther you go, the faster you get.  Efficiency goes up as the links get further away compared to AC or any other competitive product.
  • Latency – Best latency in its class (by large margins). Latency is consistent and deterministic: WiFi-based AC radios have widely variable latency based on traffic load. Super low latency in long distance links. 
  • High Throughput – Custom developed protocol provides higher throughput at every modulation setting (constellation) compared to other devices. Highest throughput and highest spectral efficiency means more available spectrum for other links.
  • Best receiver performance – AF5X has higher selectivity for better adjacent and alternate-adjacent channel performance. Which means less wasted spectrum. 
  • Super precise GPS Sync – AF5X radios use a very precise GPS synchronization system that globally synchronizes all radios for far superior interference mitigation and co-location. AF5X will co-locate and can be used with any PtMP system on the market.
  • Support for NxN – AF5X can be scaled to support almost limitless bandwidth using the NxN multiplexer (up to 4 radio links in one antenna). The synchronization is so precise that radios can be co-located on adjacent channels with no frequency separation and the data ports can be aggregated or combined, using Ubiquiti EdgePoint or EdgeSwitch, in various ways to get as much bandwidth as is needed. This can even be done using a single antenna.
  • Split frequency interference mitigation – Each end of a link can use a different frequency so they can avoid local interference.  This level of flexibility does not exist in the WiFi/AC world.
  • Ubiquiti’s Advanced MIMO – Extracts the highest constellation performance possible given the available SNR.  We have full ownership over all aspects of the radio control and are not slaves to a third party chipset designed for other applications. No WiFi protocol limitations.
  • Superior software and protocol/system reliability and stability compared to typical WiFi based products. The airFiber is a radio designed for Carrier applications since the beginning. 
  • More channel bandwidths are supported – 3.5, 5, 7, 10, 14, 20, 28, 30, 40, 50 and 56MHz*. More options than AC.
  • Variable duty cycles are supported for asymmetric upstream and downstream data rates. 
  • QoS – 8 levels of QOS capabilities.
  • Constant channel monitor – (real-time capacity display) shows actual, REAL data capacity (not the typical WiFi hypothetical PHY limit).
  • Intelligent interactive aiming feature – LEDs and webpages allow customers to dial-in the aiming based on calculated target performance. Signal strength is highly accurate with a typical accuracy of 0.5dB.
  • Flow control support
  • Capable of handling jumbo packets – MTU over 9000 bytes.
  • Enhanced Network features – Highly configurable ethernet carrier drop.

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