Proxim jumps into 4.9 GHz, Wi-Fi mesh networking
DENVER–Proxim Wireless Corp. announced during this week’s Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials conference here the availability of its wireless municipal mesh network solution that operates in the 2.4 GHz and 4.9 GHz bands and offers broadband connectivity to municipalities where it is cost-prohibitive to install network wireless edge access devices.
The company offered a demonstration of the system at APCO. It previously had been field-tested in Jackson, Wis., which is now fully deploying the system. The key component is a dual-radio node that offers four built-in antennas that offer both horizontal and vertical polarizations, which increases range in both the 2.4 GHz and 4.9 GHz bands, said Rick Hartley, Proxim’s vice president of sales.
Range extends about a half mile for an in-vehicle node and three-quarters of a mile for a node mounted to a tower, street pole or rooftop. Range can be extended to about a mile and a half through the use of up to four external antennas, Hartley said.
Another important feature of the node, according to Hartley, is that it operates as a client in addition to performing as an access point. In addition, three channel sizes are available–5 MHz, 10 MHz, and 20 MHz–which provides greater flexibility to municipalities, particularly those whose footprint includes both urban and rural areas. “The larger the channel size, the greater the throughput, the smaller the channel size, the longer the distance,” Hartley said.
Motorola jumped into the mesh-networking sector last year with its acquisition of MeshNetworks, a pioneer of peer-to-peer networks. But Hartley isn’t frightened by the prospect of competing head-to-head with the industry giant. “Bring it on,” he said.