Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Tropos Unveils Metro-Scale, WiMAX + Wi-Fi Strategy

Tropos Networks, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, announced a strategy for integrating open-standard WiMAX into new and existing metro-scale Wi-Fi networks. The Tropos WiMAX integration strategy incorporates WiMAX in three phases, as follows:

  • Phase 1 (2005): Tropos will support 802.16-2004 WiMAX as a point-to-multipoint backhaul link from Tropos metro-scale Wi-Fi networks to local points-of-presence (PoPs). This standards-based solution will improve price/performance versus current proprietary alternatives and offer operation in both licensed and unlicensed bands.

  • Phase 2 (2006): Tropos will introduce 802.16-2004 WiMAX within the metro-scale Wi-Fi network to provide inter-cell connectivity. In conjunction with Phase 1, this will allow quality of service (QoS) capabilities and licensed-band operation to the edge of the network, while still supporting Wi-Fi clients. The Tropos cells will automatically select the frequency bands and access methods that provide the best end-to-end performance.

  • Phase 3 (2007-8): Tropos cells will support 802.16e WiMAX client connections in both licensed and unlicensed bands, along with continued support for Wi-Fi clients. This will allow both licensed-band and unlicensed-band client operation and will offer mobility enhancements.
  • The Tropos platform creates a "Wi-Fi cell", which layers intelligence on top of the 802.11 standard. Wi-Fi cells form an intelligent, self-organizing, self-healing, and truly wireless broadband data network that forwards data through the mesh along the optimal path to a wired network. Access nodes can be quickly deployed on city lampposts, or other such outdoor locations, with a backhaul connection needed only every 10 nodes or so. The Tropos system is currently in deployment by metro ISPs and by cities and police departments.


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