Mesh Without Wires

August 4, 2010

Mesh Provider Jumps into 802.11n Wireless LAN Fray

Filed under: Technology,Wireless LAN,WLAN — kseniacoffman @ 9:05 am

Firetide expands product line up with 802.11n wireless LAN

Not to be left behind in the rapidly growing 802.11n Wi-Fi access market, last month we announced a new WLAN family, including both 802.11n access points and an enterprise-grade wireless LAN controller. The new Firetide products – Firetide WLAN controller and indoor and outdoor dual-radio 802.11n MIMO access points, – bring the high performance and reliability for real-time voice, video and data applications for which the company is known to broadband access space.

802.11n drives Wi-Fi access market momentum

According to a market research firm IDC, the worldwide enterprise-class wireless LAN market suffered relatively small declines in 2009, despite tough economic conditions, and is now poised for a strong rebound in 2010. According to their research published in June of 2010, the WLAN market will gain momentum throughout the year, growing 23% from $1.7 billion in 2009 to a robust $2.1 billion in 2010. “More and more customers are demanding resilient, intelligent, scalable, and adaptive wireless network infrastructures. They are gearing up for widespread deployments across the board – not just in the carpeted areas of enterprise and in the education market segment, but in widespread applications across major verticals,” says IDC’s Rohit Mehra, director of Enterprise Communications Infrastructure.

Outdoor Wi-Fi Hotspot

Outdoor Wi-Fi is blossoming

Wireless technology has evolved from being a “nice to have” feature to being an essential part of an enterprise network. A rapidly growing number of business processes rely on a wireless connection, while multimedia applications are increasingly used in all organizations, large or small. Another trend is the need for wireless LAN outside the carpeted space. Enterprises want anywhere Wi-Fi coverage for their employees, not only in their offices.

Service providers continue to deploy Wi-Fi hotspots at a growing pace, in an effort to move cellular data users to a more suitable Wi-Fi connection, where available. Municipalities are deploying Wi-Fi for city workers, first responders, as well as in tourist attractions.

The driving force behind these changes is the 802.11n standard. This improved technology allows much higher throughout compared to older standards, driving renewed investment in indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi.

Mesh and access integration

As the economy recovers, we plan to capitalize on the growth in the enterprise and industrial WLAN space, by offering a combination of infrastructure mesh to extend the network’s reach, and access points to offer client access. Unique to Firetide, wireless LAN can be a part of a Firetide mesh network. The combination of mesh and access points enables the customer to easily and cost effectively extend connectivity to areas without network infrastructure.

“Wireless mesh networks enable organizations to own and operate their own flexible private wireless networks, and video is becoming the next “must have” application,” says Gerry Kaufhold, principal analyst with In-Stat, a market research company based in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Firetide is already well known for their mission critical public safety applications. Their new competitively-priced access points, wireless LAN controller, and point-to-point products create an attractive front end that will help extend Firetide’s core infrastructure mesh business into new high-growth markets.”

WLAN that’s simple to buy, deploy and manage

The WLAN solution is simple to deploy with the controller automatically discovering and connecting all supported APs and providing optimized connectivity with automatic RF management and channel selection. The controller also provides centralized configuration of security and wireless settings. Once deployed it automatically load balances the Wi-Fi network to prevent AP overload and continuously monitors for auto channel re-assignment and RF adjustments for best performance. Advanced fairness algorithms derived from Firetide mesh technology provide rate limiting to make sure that no one client or AP hogs bandwidth.

Leverage Information Systems in Southern California recently won an RFP for a MIMO-based wireless mesh video surveillance system for the City of Gardena that requires placing 802.11n MIMO APs in city parks and along three major transportation corridors of the city. Leverage had sealed the deal when they confirmed that Firetide would soon ship their new 802.11n APs. “Firetide’s reputation is golden,” says Mark Sarria, account manager for Leverage Information Systems. “We knew the 802.11n APs would have the same performance and reliability as the wireless infrastructure mesh for the video surveillance network. It’s great to have one Firetide infrastructure platform – for both mesh backbone and client access – that is easy to set up, manage and support.”

For more information:

Image via: Roman Bonnefoy

By: Ksenia Coffman – Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.


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