Indoor Trouble

1:00 PM -- Some residents in Tempe, Ariz., are discovering something disheartening about their citywide WiFi mesh network: It doesn't work too well indoors, at least not yet.

The ASU Web Devil reports that some subscribers to the WAZTempe wireless network are complaining that they can't get service indoors.

NeoReach Inc. , the firm that installed the networking that covers 95 percent of Tempe, tells the university paper that it is aware of the problem and plans to start installing CPE boxes to extend the service by the summer.

That an outdoor mesh network doesn't provide great coverage indoors won't come as a surprise to any enterprise users who have had to install a wireless network in their offices. Walls, glass, particle board, and many more items can weaken or kill the signal from an 802.11 radio.

Still, it will be interesting to see if the more radio-intensive enterprise mesh systems that vendors like Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL) are just starting to sell to corporate customers will require even more careful site planning to ensure they are not subject to deadspots and radio dropouts.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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