Strix Wins Big Japanese Mesh Deal
WiFi mesh startup Strix Systems Inc. has scored one of the largest multi-city 802.11 municipal deals yet announced, working with an NTT Group (NYSE: NTT) subsidiary to unwire a hundred cities in Japan over the next couple of years. (See Strix Wins at NTT West.)
The Calabasas, Calif.-based firm is working with NTT West and Network Value Components (NVC) to deploy the network, which will use Strix's Access/One OWS and IWS modular mesh products to provide voice, video, and data services in both indoor and outdoor settings. Nan Chen, Strix's VP of marketing, says the network could cover "about 50 million people" by the time it is completed, although he's not sure which cities NTT plans to include in the deployment.
Unlike many of the municipal deployments of mesh networking in the U.S., Chen says the NTT rollout will have more of an enterprise focus, at least to begin with. The goal is to primarily cover business customers as well as residential," says Chen. "There are a lot of businesses that really wanted to have managed services."
The raison d'être behind this, according to Chen, is that enterprises will help to make the network viable by paying for initial services -- such as voice, data, and mobile access to corporate applications -- then NTT can extend its offerings further afield.
Strix has put a lot of effort into catering to the Japanese market. The firm is so far the only mesh vendor to have adjusted its products so that they can use the local 54-Mbit/s 802.11j standard, which operates in the 4.9GHz to 5.0GHz band and conforms to domestic radio emission requirements. (See doclink 87110}.) Strix is already working with other Japanese customers such as KDDI Corp. .
"802.11j plus multi-radio systems put us at great advantage," claims Chen.
Strix has shipped a total of 32,100 radios since it began shipping the Access/One Network Outdoor Wireless System (OWS) in April 2005, according to Heavy Reading's "Wireless Mesh Equipment Market Tracker," meaning that it has shipped more radios than any other vendor. (See HR: Mesh Market to Hit $1B in '08.)
The HR report noted that worldwide sales of wireless mesh equipment are expected to grow by more than 100 percent in 2006, and that the market's cumulative revenue will approach $1 billion by the end of 2008.
Strix isn't giving away any official details on the monetary value of the deal yet. "It's a few thousand radios a city... You do the math," says Chen.
For the record, Strix's six-radio OWS3600-30 unit lists for $6,369, according to the latest information Unstrung could find.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung