Light Reading
New hybrid device designed to extend reach, power of municipal mesh networks

Proxim Mashes Mesh, WiMax

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
2/5/2007
50%
50%

Blending today's WiFi technology for municipal wireless networks with tomorrow's, Proxim Wireless Corp. will debut later today a new hybrid multi-radio node that combines a meshed WiFi access point with a WiMax system that can both serve as backhaul for the WiFi mesh and provide network access to WiMax client devices.

The "MeshMax" line is "the industry's first integrated WiMax/mesh product," claims Geoffrey Smith, Proxim's vice partner for worldwide marketing and product management. "Everything else is just doing partnerships, with separate boxes."

While WiMax systems have long been used to provide backhaul for large-scale deployments of meshed WiFi networks -- indeed, that application has been seen as the first mover of the market for broadband wireless equipment based on the 802.16 standard -- the combination of mesh and WiMax equipment in a single, lamppost-mounted box is a logical next step for outdoor municipal networks.

"Service providers, municipalities, and other customers have been asking for a product that will simplify the process of deploying and managing both WiFi mesh and WiMax together," commented Pankaj Manglik, Proxim's president and COO, in a statement.

Nonetheless, the firm will face competition in the mesh and WiMax field, especially from Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT). While the Schaumburg, Ill.-based vendor does not have a combo 802.11/802.16 box yet, it does have a portfolio of WiFi and proprietary mesh products; WiMax infrastructure; and wireless broadband radio links.

While many industry observers have viewed WiFi, with its interference problems and the need for a high number of nodes in dense distributions, as a short-term technology fix for municipal applications, others believe that meshed WiFi and WiMax will coexist for many years to come.

"The convergence of WiMax and mesh is a natural evolution in broadband wireless, as it maximizes the strengths of both technologies," opines Daryl Schoolar, a senior analyst at In-Stat .

A subsidiary of publicly owned Terabeam Inc. (Nadsaq: TRBM), San Jose, Calif.-based Proxim is one of the veteran companies in the startup-filled WiFi/WiMax arena. The company has had a colorful history. Founded in 1983, Proxim was one of the early pioneers in the WiFi and home networking markets. In 2002, the company merged with broadband wireless firm Western Multiplex Corp., which then adopted the Proxim name. In June 2005 Proxim filed for bankruptcy, subsequently selling its assets to Terabeam for $28 million. Under Terabeam, Proxim has shifted its focus from wireless LAN equipment -- a market dominated by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) -- to mesh networks and WiMax equipment. (See Terabeam Hopes to Bounce Ricochet, Proxim Faces D-Day, Proxim Sells Assets for $21M, and Terabeam Grabs Proxim's Assets.)

Earlier this month, the company won a high-profile contract to provide a mesh WiFi network at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world's largest particle physics laboratory. The MeshMax product is a clear attempt to differentiate Proxim products in the increasingly crowded market for municipal wireless network equipment.

"Mesh gateway products are connected to a backhaul solution for one of two reasons," explains Proxim's Smith. "Either the data access doesn't exist everywhere you need it, or what's available doesn't provide enough bandwidth to provide the services to clients that they're looking for."

The MeshMax device, he adds, solves both those problems. Replacing the separate WiMax subscriber unit and mesh gateway with a single integrated device, the node combines a Layer 2 switch, a WiMax node, and a dual-radio WiFi mesh access point. It will be upgradeable with a software add to 802.16e-based "mobile" WiMax when that standard is finally ratified. The result: networks that are easier to deploy, but offer the highest capacity per square mile of any current mesh system, according to the company.

"The need for backhaul coverage in mesh deployments, along with the desire for more cost-effective solutions for municipal deployments, are driving us to this integration," says Smith. "Both markets will be expanding dramatically over the next few years."

Indeed, according to research from Sky Light Research and the Dell'Oro Group , the combined WiMax/mesh access arenas could represent a $6 billion-plus market over the next three years. Whether this new combined solution will validate Proxim's refurbished strategy remains to be seen. Many observers see the field of WiFi and WiMax gear suppliers being winnowed dramatically over the next 12 to 18 months. (See What's Next for Tropos?)

Smith says the MeshMax product is currently in trials with "several major operators on several different continents," and he expects to announce actual deployments in the coming weeks. List price starts at $999 per node.

— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Nokia's Maps Land on Samsung Devices
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/29/2014
Now Google Planning Drones-to-Go
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/29/2014
Music to My Mobile
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/28/2014
Be Open to the Freedom of Openness
Kelly Herrell, 8/29/2014
Netflix to FCC: Kill Comcast-TWC Deal
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed