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News

Wireless mesh infrastructure for challenging locations

Firetide : 26 June, 2009  (New Product)
Firetide's HotPort 6000-900 introduces smart adaptive infrastructure for providing wireless mesh networks in difficult locations
Firetide has announced the new HotPort 6000-900 non-line-of-sight wireless 'Smart Adaptive' infrastructure mesh solution - the company's first product to operate in a 900 MHz spectrum to enable high bandwidth applications in challenging environments. Target markets include utilities, public safety, transportation and industrial, wherever clear line-of-sight cannot be obtained.

"The new 900 MHz solution addresses the need for non-line-of-sight applications in our core public safety, transportation and industrial markets. It also opens up a new market opportunity for us with utilities that can now use the Firetide infrastructure mesh architecture in difficult environments," said Bo Larsson, chief executive officer of Firetide. "This is our first step in addressing Smart Grid opportunities where we see Firetide's unique infrastructure mesh providing an attractive price and performance network for Smart Grid applications."

With the new HotPort 6000-900, users with non-line-of-sight locations can now deploy multi-hop, fully meshed networks and receive its benefits of redundancy and load balancing, thereby improving the reliability of their network and avoiding any single points of failure. The product enables bandwidth intensive applications such as video surveillance and broadband access traffic and extends mesh reliability, performance and services into these difficult environments. The HotPort 6000-900 also delivers the industry's highest throughput - up to 26 Mbps, depending on line of sight conditions.

HotPort 6000-900 mesh is uniquely designed for noisy 900 MHz spectrum and introduces Firetide's Smart Adaptive Mesh technology to mitigate the effects of interference that typically bring down wireless throughput and reliability in this band. For example, Firetide's noise-aware data path and noise filtering algorithms enable mesh to better handle interference from other 900 MHz devices, as well as from adjacent frequency bands taken up by cellular and 3G traffic. Tools such as the spectrum analyzer, which is integrated into the product, allow a network administrator to remotely monitor the health of the network and take actions to further optimize the network performance.

For public and private utilities, the new product addresses the needs for reliable, high-bandwidth communications in remote and rugged terrains where it can increase the backhaul capacity of their existing SCADA monitoring networks and also be used for security. "Providing all the benefits of mesh and Firetide's unique architectural approach, the Firetide 900 MHz mesh is a great solution for the utility market. Not only will they have a much higher bandwidth than they are used to, but they can deploy a single infrastructure mesh network for their SCADA and security needs. Local communities are generally sensitive about the aesthetics of adding tall antenna poles to get a clear signal necessary for the higher bandwidths. The Firetide 900 MHz mesh can use the existing antenna infrastructure to reach through the tree canopy. This provides installation and cost savings to the utilities while adding the benefits of voice and video," said Ken VandeVeer, Southern California sales manager, of Sage Designs.

"In the public safety space, the 900 MHz connection can be used for the 'last hop,' to connect an outlying camera, for example, around obstructive tree canopies or buildings. Another application is for covert surveillance where law enforcement agents may not be able to get clear line of sight without causing undue attention to themselves," said Mark Jules, president of Avrio RMS Group.

The HotPort 6000-900 mesh is part of and fully compatible with the HotPort 6000 series of mesh nodes that provide reliable Ethernet connectivity over a high-performance, self-forming wireless mesh backbone. All HotPort nodes have multiple Ethernet ports for connecting network devices or other networks to the wireless mesh. With HotPort 6000 nodes, users can build a single infrastructure for voice, video and data traffic, dramatically reducing capital investment in the wireless backbone.

The 900 MHz product features a dual radio solution with the capability of operating in the 900 MHz spectrum on one of the radios, while operating in the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz or 4.9 GHz (public safety) frequency bands on the other. The solution is available immediately in both indoor and outdoor configurations.
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