I just had a converstaion with a Sprint rep who makes the Airave sound like a different device that I thought it was. My big question is, what exactly does the airave do? As I originally understood it, the Airave is a mini cell tower than connects to the Sprint network via the broadband internet connection. All calls that are made on via the Airave's range are funneled through the internet to the Sprint network rather than through conventional cell towers. What the Sprint rep make it seem like to me is that the Airave only used the internet to register with the network and it was more of a repeater for a weak Sprint signel in the area and it actually connects to the local cell tower. This would put next to no load on the broadband connection.
The whole reason for this question is that the Airave was obtained because we have a cell signal strength in one part of the house. The problem is that there is no wired network connection anywhere on that side of the house. The Airave is pluged into the internet router on one side of the house and it can not reach the other side. (Think 2 store house, Airave located in southwest corner on ground floor and the rooms that need coverage are in the northeast corner on the second floor.)
So my potential solution, if the Sprint rep I talked to is right, would be to bridge the house WIFI connection with the computer that is upstairs (where I need signal) to the Airave to let it register with the network and serve as a repeater as I was told it is capable of.
The Airave is used as a 'micro-tower' and boosts a signal up to 5,000 square feet from point of origin. It uses your internet to cary voice services to the switching center. When you make a wireless call and connect to a Sprint tower, that signal is taken and run over a dedicated data line to the central offices (a little more is involved, but for basic understanding...) and then passed along to the next provider or PSTN to complete your call. The airave acts the same, just using less bandwidth since it is only connecting up to 3 calls at a time. Each calls requires approximately 40Kbps of upload and download speed per device during a voice call.
So in my situation where I do not have access to a LAN connection on the other end of the house to plug the Airave in, where I need it, what would be the best solution? The house does have wireless internet, and I was considering a bridging device like the following: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8
I guess I'm not understanding how you have wireless in the house but do not have access to a LAN. Does your modem/router not have additional ethernet ports available to plug additional devices in? The Airave creates its own 1900 MHz 'wireless network' so simply extending yours would not do anything for the Airave. Again, the airave sends out its own wireless signal that your phones connect to. The Airave needs to plug directly into your modem/router for use via ethernet.
Ok, In the house, downstairs in an office, is where the internet comes in. There is a router there and a computer. The one is connected via a wire to the router. The other computers in the house are wireless via regular 802.11g. The Airave is also connected to this router now via an ethernet cable. Upstairs is where I need the Airave to work, but there is no ethernet cable going upstairs. So if I wanted to move the Airave upstairs so that it can better cover where I need it, I cant because there is no cable going to the back of my router there.
So what I am not understanding from your last post is, does the Airave connect to the home network only via an ethernet cable or does it also connect to my home network via the 802.11g that I have available?
It connects only through ethernet and is required to work. I've been thinking about this one since yesterday. That bridge you are looking into obviously has ethernet jacks on the back. The airave requires your modem to support VPN pass-through (which is extremely common). This obviously isn't anything that Sprint would support or be able to troubleshoot, but there's a chance that it may work by plugging the Airave into the ethernet adapters on the bridge as long as the bridge passes the unit as if it were plugged into your modem. So it's not something I can say yes or no to for certain, but it certainly would be worth a shot if you are not getting a good enough signal from the Airave from the basement location...
So again, to answer your last question, no it does not use or connect to your wireless network, it needs to communicate over ethernet.
wengla02 Our top Administrator for this site has his setup wirelessly - It can be done we just don't do support for that configuration, it would be too technical and take too much time.
Larry ~ OKIESTRO