We are looking for a router we can supply to thousands of end customers for an ISP. Our requirements would be:
-Must be able to buy the device NEW, for under $100, in bulk quantity. The lower the price the better, but we don't want a bad product. We can buy a high end commercial 802.11AC product today for $110, so it has to be well under this price to justify the switch.
-Ideally not be a name brand link Linksys or TP-Link. We prefer something whitebox that we can put our name and label on it.
-Has at least 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports. 1 WAN and 4 LAN would be preferred, but not required.
-Has a modern processor / SOC that supports the latest OpenWRT, and has plenty of room for add on packages
-Has 802.11AC. We prefer something with 4x4 MIMO, but could get away with 2x2. Also needs to have 2.4Ghz 802.11n 2x2.
Any recommendations? What China OEM's fit this bill?
If you are going to buy thousands of devices and spend so much money, shouldn't you ask the manufacturer? Only them can guarantee availability and specs. Then, you can ask here to confirm compatibility.
Yes, but I need to know which manufacturers, that already have devices compatible with OpenWRT, to contact. These specs are generic enough that there should already be an OEM out there where a device like this.
Given the number of devices and the expected lifetime that I think you're looking for (I'm guessing 5 years of deployment, with potential support for a few years after that), I'd strongly suggest a multi-core ARM device.
If you could get the pricing right in your quantities, something along the lines of https://openwrt.org/toh/hwdata/zyxel/zyxel_nbg6817 would be what I would look for. Those units are available in the US at retail for US $150 on a good day.
Thanks for the recommendation. I was thinking a multi-core ARM device as well.
However, I don't think that Zyxel would be a good fit due to price point. Today, I can already buy a Calix 844E-1 for $110 as a service provider, or a SmartRG 400ac (that runs SmartOS which is open WRT) for around $110 as well. So if we are going to go through the process of doing our own, loading openwrt, dealing with it vs leaning on a manafacture with a bullet proof solution, the total cost of the hardware is going to have to be much less than $110.
Sure, if we buy thousands Zyxel might slash prices much less for us, but overall we want a device where we can buy one or two of them for less than $110, and then as volume grows we get even bigger discounts.
Take a look at GL-Inet products, specifically the B1300. It's not an exact fit for your requirements but is pretty close and pricing lines up. They are also a reputable developer/manufacturer who has been doing hardware and the OpenWRT support thing for a while so dangers of buying 10 and then having the product vanish from the face of the earth later on are pretty small. I believe they also so custom OEM work if that time ever comes around.
@jolouis Thanks for the recommendation. I think this is a good product to look at, and price point seems to be around $90.
What do you think about the ZBT products? Overall they seem to be much cheaper, and similar specs. Like the zbt-we3526 is $35
Have never dealt with ZBT so cannot make any comments on them as a company. We have dealt with GL-Inet for the past two years and will say they are very accommodating, helpful and professional to work with. They will also do bulk pricing if you are buying larger quantities.
In terms of comparison, the ZBT-WE3526 appears to be Mediatek based, while the B1300 is QCA/Atheros. Right there that difference accounts for the price between them. Mediatek is generally considered bargain basement cheap of the cheap while Atheros is at the opposite end of the spectrum. That said, I cannot argue one way or the other between these two specific devices, but generally QCA will perform better and have better support/longevity. That is entirely up to you to weigh in on what matters most for your application though.