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Carrier WiFi

PacketHop Gets $10M

Mobile mesh startup PacketHop has grabbed $10 million in a second round of venture funding and scored a deal with networkin' daddy Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT).

PacketHop is doing something rather different than other startups, like BelAir Networks, Firetide Inc., Locust World, and Tropos Networks, in the wireless LAN mesh field .

Instead of using a layout of 802.11-based mesh router boxes [ed. note: some folks prefer to call them "nodes"] to wirelessly transfer data over much greater areas than standard 802.11 networks, PacketHop has developed software for WiFi clients that allows the devices themselves to act as nodes in an ad hoc mesh network.

In Unstrung's brief conversation with PacketHop's CEO, Michael Howse, he tended to focus on home security and public safety applications for his company's products, highlighting the security, authentication, and encryption capabilities built into the PacketHop system.

Howse plans to spend the additional VC money on completing PacketHop's product lineup and building up the sales force. The firm has so far garned $15 million in venture capital. Lead investor for this round was ComVentures.

PacketHop's partnership with Nortel is directly aimed at what the firms call the "$11 billion homeland security market." Nortel has been working on the aforementioned wireless mesh router products that will likely integrate with the PacketHop devices (see Nortel: Another Fine Mesh).

A spokesperson for Nortel says the products are "still in trial." Nortel has previously said that it expects to make initial commercial deployments before the end of the year.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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