Arris and Strike Again, This Time at Retail Market

– Arris Launches 5 Products for Retail: 3 Wi-Fi Routers & 2 Extenders
– Following Its Win at Bell Canada
– Sponsors NASCAR Cars & Drivers to Increase Retail Awareness

Could it be that is, at long last, emerging as the “go to” powerline network technology?

“Did you see the news today?” is the start of the email that brought an announcement that the formidable STB maker Arris has for the first time launched a product line in retail outlets – not just to service providers.

Arris’ new retail products include 5 models, all with powerline technology: 3 routers and 2 adapters, which use the home’s powerlines as the backbone to help eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones.

Arris says they “really” do eliminate them.


Arris surfboard Ad

The Arris ad guy: preventing conflict in the home


The three routers, whose prices range from $120 to $300 have and 11ac Wi-Fi built in; their differences are the amount of their Wi-Fi bandwidth.

The Arris $60 extender is only – no Wi-Fi built in. The $100 extender is a true extender with Wi-Fi built in.

Arris’ gear is already for sale on Amazon but, oddly, not Best Buy, which as an early member of the group HomeGrid Forum once promised it would offer products.

Arris heralded the products as “the future of Wi-Fi Surfboard home networking with rip current technology,” which it says are “built on next-generation Gigabit Home Networking ( Power Line Communications technology.” It got the Surfboard brand when it acquired Motorola’s STB business from Google.

Ripcurrent is the name that Arris uses for its technology, which uses chips from Marvell.

Arris is selling its new surfboards as something consumers can “buy well, buy once,” which has not been true of home networking products in the past. Its point is that the user can add more adapters as needed.

Last summer, Comtrend launched the first retail powerline adapter, which did well in our tests in two residences that had Wi-Fi dead spots. It has a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

This is the second major win for Arris and Marvell.

Last week The Online Reporter found that Bell Canada is already offering Arris-made powerline adapters to extend the reach of its whole-home DVRs.

We suspect other telcos will also offer similar adapters but as of now we don’t know of any that will embed the chips in their DVRs or routers, which would be a major win for – or any powerline network technology.

Although HomePlug still has a much longer list, has a growing list of HomeGrid-certified chips and products. The list includes over powerline, coax and, perhaps surprisingly, phone lines – an Ethernet bridge from Sendtek.

The Arris announcement this week is certainly …

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