Carrier WiFi

Vivato Plays Outdoors

N'AWLINS -- CTIA Wireless 2003 -- Vivato Inc. has launched an outdoor version of its wireless LAN switch and announced its first customer trials here in the Big Easy (see Vivato Launches 802.11 Switch).

Phil Belanger, Vivato's VP of marketing, told Unstrung that both its indoor, enterprise-oriented box and the outdoor product, which it wants to sell to carriers building public hotspot networks, will be commercially available in June.

Both products are based on the 802.11b standard (11-Mbit/s over 2.4GHz), and offer improved security and management, claims Vivato (see Vivato's Switch Bitch for more on the startup's technology). They provide extended reach through the use of antenna technology and are intended to replace multiple access points. The outdoor unit has a range of four kilometers, while the indoor product covers a few hundred meters, which is a lot better than the 100m range of a standard 802.11b access point.

The outdoor unit costs $13,995, while the enterprise product is priced at $8,995. The difference in price is largely due to the tougher casing Vivato has used on the outdoor unit, which must be able to withstand the weather, guano, and the producers of guano (those pesky birds!). Both will support around 150 users, about three times as many as a standard 802.11b access point.

Belanger clearly sees the outdoor unit as a -- perhaps the -- crucial product for Vivato. "There's nobody else that is providing [802.11 coverage] over such a large area," he claims. "We've definitely had more demand for the outdoor module."

Intel Capital, which recently invested in Vivato, said it is mainly interested in the possibility of the outdoor box improving hotspot coverage for network operators (see Intel Itches for WLAN Switches).

However, Belanger claims Vivato will still try to stake a claim in the enterprise space, despite the fierce competition developing in that market (see WLAN Switch Shakeout Looms?). "There will be cases where the micro-cellular [multiple access point] architecture wins," he says. "But the bigger the interior space, the more it plays into our hands."

Vivato's first trial users are Cypress Communications Inc., which is testing the technology's suitability for providing in-building wireless broadband coverage, and Florida State University, presumably so it can provide 802.11 connectivity to techno-savvy alligators.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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peteo 12/5/2012 | 12:24:31 AM
re: Vivato Plays Outdoors Well Some folks where down at CITA and checked out the vivato switch deployment. Heres what they had to say:

"I hate to give this a bad rap but my A/P is much better than this. In the booth they say its not a good install. If thats true I would think that they would have fixed it by now. As it is this system does not perform. I have to be 1 block from it max and LOS in order to pass any data. 2 blocks away and its gone. Poof, and thats with the airnic. Forget using a wireless card with it. They have a indoor switch in the convention center I will try tommorrow. Did not have time today. "

"This morning I had a chance to test the indoor switch. I was very dissapointed. From what I tested this switch does not have the penetration of my smartbridges APPO. Indoor or outdoor. Vivato said it will penetrate building walls but so will smartbridges and the others we use. In the convention center they had 1 switch at each end of the hall. I was located in the middle of both of them. The best signal I could find using a dell true mobile card was 46. I then popped my smartbridges aircard in and got the same figures. I did see a linksys A/P that was running about 89%"

check out the thread here:

and vivato's response here:
lrmobile_zephyrwind69 12/5/2012 | 12:22:13 AM
re: Vivato Plays Outdoors That's awesome and hillarious!..check out where the link goes.
beastmaster 12/4/2012 | 11:39:00 PM
re: Vivato Plays Outdoors From what I've seen of the Vivato switch,
It's just not dialed in yet. Maybe a little
premature to be deploying this bad-boy. But I see the companies urgency to get it to market.

Now whether they can really do it remains to be
seen. It's a challenging venture. It takes big
nards to attempt what Vivato did, and they made
great strides towards extending range. But the
RF monster might not be tamed in the first go around. They have a pretty stellar team of engineers at Vivato, ranging from RF to software. I'd bet on them nailing this within the year.

The Vivato switch needs to come down in price though to be a real player. Sure the big guys will buy it and try it, but deploy it? I don't see the cost advantage yet.

panthera 12/4/2012 | 11:36:26 PM
re: Vivato Plays Outdoors Maybe the rumor about internal turmoil was true.
I just heard Vivato RIF'ed their
whole software development team working on
their WiFi switch. Appearently there's been
a shakedown in management and they are abandoning
their first product offering and desperately
trying to realign.

joset01 12/4/2012 | 11:36:08 PM
re: Vivato Plays Outdoors Checked this, see story.
badjuju 12/4/2012 | 11:21:03 PM
re: Vivato Plays Outdoors Haven't heard much from the loud mouths
at Vivato in recent months. Word has it
Biba is no longer the CEO. Can someone
confirm this?

lrmobile_pan 12/4/2012 | 11:21:02 PM
re: Vivato Plays Outdoors Wonder what kind of positive spin
the marketeers at Vivato will put
on this one?

Rumors are starting to fly again, I heard
that the VC's are considering a recall of the
remaining funding. Guess the products
not all that, huh?

Maybe we'll be seeing the remaining
inventory on ebay under the marine section.
Boat anchors anyone?


joset01 12/4/2012 | 11:20:59 PM
re: Vivato Plays Outdoors They denied this was the case last time I spoke to them, I shall check again.

DJ Unstrung
badjuju 12/4/2012 | 11:19:55 PM
re: Vivato Plays Outdoors Of course they did. They don't
need anymore bad press right about now.
They tried to hide this just like when
they had their last RIF.

The numbers just don't add up for them.
Their burn rate is still too high, and they
have little to no revenues...hmmm.

I can see whats coming...can you?

wonderfull 12/4/2012 | 11:19:54 PM
re: Vivato Plays Outdoors Do other new generation WiFi switch vendors like Airespace,Trapeze,Meru,AirFlow,etc have significant deployments?

Some of these vendors claim 5+ deployments..maybe 1 switch per deployment...

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