CES 2019: ARRIS Announces Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Mesh System With All 4x4 Design

Julio Urquidi

News Editor
arrisax1100.jpg
Arris moved strongly into the growing Wi-Fi 6 consumer market with the announcement of its SURFboard mAX Pro Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Wi-Fi System.

The AX11000 class system will support maximum link rates of 1200 Mbps on its 2.4 GHz radio and 4800 Mbps on both 5 GHz radios. The second 5 GHz radio will typically be used as a dedicated backhaul link.

Aside from its four GbE ports and support for 2 GbE WAN link aggregation, the sleekly designed AX1100 is backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, uses a SURFboard mAX Manager app for administration, has band steering, provides parental controls, and is compatible with Alexa.

Pricing for ARRIS’ SURFboard mAX Pro Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Wi-Fi System (AX11000) hasn’t been set yet, however ARRIS says its new Wi-Fi system will be available during the first half of 2019. ARRIS will also release a single router version, SURFboard mAX Pro Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Wi-Fi Router at the same time.
 
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Internet Man

Senior Member
Does anyone know what chipset is inside?
The informed amateurs (not intended as an insult) who have edited the page at WikiDevi went with Broadcom BCM4908 CPU + 3x BCM43684 radios. https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Arris_SURFboard_W31

The short-term confidentiality on the FCC docs expires today for this device but the documents are not actually online quite yet so we should be able to get confirmation soon. *Edit* FCC internal photos confirm the Broadcom chips above.

All currently known tri-band AX11000 products use Broadcom chips. In fact, I don't think I've heard of any tri-band 802.11ax designs using Qualcomm chips. Any Qualcomm-based devices claiming to be "AX11000" would likely be dual-band and would depend on 160MHz channels and 8x8:8 operation for 5GHz 802.11ax. So far, most Qualcomm devices (Netgear RAX120, ASUS GT-AX6000, Cisco Meraki MR55, ...) which can support 8x8:8 switch down to 2x 4x4:4 when using HE80+80 channels, not a contiguous 160MHz wide channel. I'm assuming that this is a work-in-progress and that eventually they will support 8x8:8 when using 160MHz channels since the H3C WA6628 and Huawei AP7060DN were announced as AX11000 and supposedly use Qualcomm.
 
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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
I think it’s unlikely we’ll see 8 stream AX in consumer routers. It’s just too expensive. The second 5 GHz radio is much more useful for backhaul. Although you could argue that becomes unnecessary when they get OFDMA working, since it works with any # of streams.

Right now, however, OFDMA is not enabled in bridge mode, at least not in NETGEAR’s RAX80. So I can’t do any OFDMA preliminary testing using multiple routers as bridges.

I’ve asked Broadcom about this, but so far, crickets...
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I think it’s unlikely we’ll see 8 stream AX in consumer routers. It’s just too expensive. The second 5 GHz radio is much more useful for backhaul. Although you could argue that becomes unnecessary when they get OFDMA working, since it works with any # of streams.
Someone will do an 8-stream... why, because they can...

I agree though - 4-stream is the practical limit for 2019 I think... once beyond 4-stream, the benefit is much less, esp since a vast majority of client radios are 2 stream...
 

Waltski

Occasional Visitor
I'm looking forward to more information about the Arris SURFboard mAX Pro Wi-Fi 6 Mesh system, as it may finally be possible to provide practical gigabit wireless as Wifi 6 devices become more common. Even if those devices are slow to come to market, the longer-range wireless back haul between mesh units should allow higher wireless speeds for existing AC devices in the home (I hope...)
 

Internet Man

Senior Member
I'm looking forward to more information about the Arris SURFboard mAX Pro Wi-Fi 6 Mesh system, as it may finally be possible to provide practical gigabit wireless as Wifi 6 devices become more common. Even if those devices are slow to come to market, the longer-range wireless back haul between mesh units should allow higher wireless speeds for existing AC devices in the home (I hope...)
What had led you to believe that the surfboard Max will have longer range?
 

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