Light Reading

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
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Intros Smart Device for eLTE

3|30|15   |   05:25   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed a secure, location-aware multimedia smartphone for its eLTE trunked radio solution, says Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Win Video, Win All

3|30|15   |   06:44   |   (0) comments


Video is going to be the next main source of revenue for operators. Operators have big opportunities and advantages to monetize video services. Globally, Huawei has helped more than 70 operators achieve over 30 million video subscribers. Watch this video for more.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
Just Don't Say IBM Is 'Relaunching' Networking Business
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/26/2015
Carriers Are Bright Spot in BlackBerry Q4
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/27/2015
TV Everywhere Nears Mainstream Adoption
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/27/2015
Comcast Says TWC Deal Will Close Later
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Cats with Phones
Interspecies Phone Love Click Here
"No, you hang up."
"No, YOU hang up."
Latest Comment