Sunday, May 21, 2006

Strix Introduces Dual-radio Edge Wireless CPE

Strix Systems introduced its Edge Wireless System (EWS 100), high-speed customer premise device that extends the reach and mobility of the Strix Outdoor Wireless System (OWS) mesh network to the indoors.

The RF signals of most mesh networks deployed to date can penetrate houses, but WLANs, wireless-enabled laptops, VoIP phones and other wireless user devices frequently do not have a signal strong enough to communicate with the network, resulting in poor performance. The EWS 100 improves signal strength, relaying the signal back and forth between the mesh and devices in the house.

The "plug and play" EWS 100 provides connectivity from WLANs, LANs, wireless-enabled laptops, VoIP phones and other devices to the mesh. It also provides seamless roaming for voice and data between inside and outside.

The EWS 100 incorporates two radios, an 802.11g and an 802.11a; one of them can provide indoor wireless coverage, while the other connects the unit to Strix's outdoor mesh network. An alternate configuration option for indoor coverage is to provide a wired connection through the unit's built-in Ethernet port, just like a cable or DSL modem.

On the client side, Layer 2 Network Address Translation (NAT) allows the unit to support multiple PCs and enables an Ethernet client bridge to the mesh network. In addition, the EWS 100 provides automatic Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption. Provider-side features include local/remote management and Telnet/CLI. The EWS 100 is future proof; service providers can manage automatic upgrades to new features from a remote location or a Network Operation Center (NOC). In addition, the unit offers authentication management.

Strix said service providers can customize the EWS 100 by loading it with their own integration files and can track each customer's unit by recording its MAC address.

In addition to distributing CPE, Strix will license its software, which is powered by the Strix Dynamic Mesh Architecture, and provide reference designs to other CPE vendors, thus enabling service providers to offer their customers a variety of connectivity options.

The EWS 100 is priced at $179; packages of ten are available to service providers at a bulk rate.

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