Arris expanded its retail strategy with last week’s debut of a new line of ‘SURFboard’-branded routers and extenders that aim to deliver whole-home coverage with equipment that pairs WiFi with a high-speed backbone that relies on a home’s powerlines.
Arris’s powerline-based platform uses G.hn (branded by the vendor under the “RipCurrent” moniker), a home networking platform that competes with HomePlug and, to an extent, the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), which uses a home’s coaxial lines.
Arris also offers a range of whole-home networking products that use MoCA, though most of those are focused on platforms that are being delivered and managed by cable operators and other MVPDs.
Arris also looked at MoCA for its new retail router line, but found that there are more complexities around that technology with respect to in-home wiring, Tom Boshell, director of global retail sales at Arris, said.
Using a combo of G.hn, powerline and WiFi, he said, offers a way to deliver ubiquitous coverage in the home with a retail product that offers a relatively easy self-install option, he added. Arris believes the router/extender set up will eliminate dead zones in homes as video streaming and other bandwidth-intensive apps on home networks on a broader range of devices become increasingly prevalent.
Arris started to make its new line available for pre-order via the Arris Store and at Amazon.com. According to the Arris Store, the expected ship date is April 29.
Here’s the new product lineup:
WiFi Routers with RipCurrent:
-Arris SURFboard SBR-AC1200P (802.11ac, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and four internal antennas): $119.99
-Arris SURFboard SBR-AC1900P (802.11ac, four GigE ports, six internal antennas): $199.99
-Arris SURFboard SBR-AC3200P (“tri-band concurrent” 802.11ac, four GigE ports, six internal antennas: $299.99
-Arris SURFboard SBX1000P: $59.99
-Arris SURFboard SBX1200P (dual-band concurrent): $99.99
Arris has also developed iOS and Android apps to assist with installation and management of the user’s home network.
The product introduction expands Arris’s retail efforts under its own SURFboard brand. For a time, Arris had offered retail products under both its brand and the Motorola brand following its acquisition of Motorola home in April 2013. Zoom Telephonics inked a deal last year to use the Motorola brand in cable modems, routers and set-tops sold at retail, and launched its initial Moto-branded product lineup in February 2016.
Here’s a promotional video about Arris’s new G.hn-based retail router product family: