TP-Link launches Omada OC200 cloud controller for decentralized wireless operations

TP-Link adds a new cloud controller to the Omada line they introduced almost a year ago. Aimed at SMBs, the Omada family is a hybrid cloud platform to manage decentralized wireless networks.

Chinese-based networking vendor TP-Link has announced the availability of a new offering, the Omada OC200 cloud controller. The Omada line was introduced in late 2017, to provide an advanced hybrid cloud platform that could centrally manage decentralized business networks. It reflects the fact that while TP-Link started out making products for the low end of the market, in the consumer space, and in the SMB for their B2B offerings, they have expanded their range of offerings upmarket, as well as providing a higher-grade of product for their traditional markets.

“We have been moving a lot of products to more enterprise Broadcom and Qualcomm enterprise-grade chipsets with their stronger processing power,” said Queenie Tse, TP-Link Canada’s marketing manager.

The Omada OC200 is one of these with the more advanced chipsets. It is aimed broadly at the SMB space.

“It is directed at both small and medium sized businesses, with up to about 500 access points,” Tse said. “We are working with a lot of hotel chains on it, but it’s not a product aimed at the really big hotels.”

Tse emphasized that the Omada OC200 has major ease of use advantages over what TP-Link had previously offered in the space.

“We used to offer a software controller on all our access points, but it would have to be installed,” she said. “This has the application installed already, and is controlled through a Web browser.” The plug-and-play configuration allows new access points to be set up within a matter of minutes.

The broader ease of use comes from the OC 200’s ability to control multiple access points in different locations and troubleshoot from anywhere in the world without having to move from site to site, significantly reducing the cost of managing and controlling the network.

“Having that kind of efficiency is extremely important for partners, because of its ability to reduce their costs,” Tse said. “It means they can do things remotely, and not have to pay for the cost of going to different locations.”

The Omada wireless solution includes a hardware cloud controller, EAP cloud-enabled controller software, ceiling-mount access points, and outdoor access points. It can be managed with the cloud controller through the cloud, but also has a local controller mode for those who want to manage the system through the LAN, as well as a standalone access mode. It works with the just-released EAP225-Wall AC1200 MU-MIMO PoE Wall-Plate Access Point which gives users fast, private and stable dedicated in-room Internet connections regardless of room size.

Free subscription models in the SMB wireless space have become common, but Tse said that the version that TP-Link offers is a differentiator for them.

“Our subscription-free license is unlimited, whereas competitors offer limited subscription models,” Tse said. The cost is for the upfront hardware. The cloud subscription is entirely free. TP-Link sells entirely through partners, which include resellers, large account resellers and retailers.

The Omada OC200 Cloud Controller with PoE (802.3af/802.3at) support has an MSP of $CDN 99.99. The related products are the AC1200 Wireless MU-MIMO Wall-Place Access Point Upgrade, at $CDN 89.99, the AC1350 Wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit Ceiling Mount Access Point  at $CDN $99.99, the AC1750 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Access, at $CDN 129.99 and the AC1200 Broadcom Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Access Point, at $CDN 199.99.