Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tropos Adds Smart Routing to Multi-Band MetroMesh Routers

Tropos Networks introduced a new family of MetroMesh routers featuring "smart routing" capabilities -- the ability to dynamically create multi-band paths through a mesh network.

The first member of this new product family is the Tropos 5320 outdoor MetroMesh router, a dual-band Wi-Fi mesh router. The Tropos 5320 sports 802.11a and 802.11b/g radios, which can be used simultaneously to form both client and mesh connections. The Tropos 5320 is completely interoperable with the entire family of Tropos MetroMesh routers, enabling easy incremental capacity addition in existing networks without re-engineering or network downtime. The Tropos 5320 will begin shipping in October 2006.

Tropos has significantly enhanced its MetroMesh OS, which is embedded in every Tropos MetroMesh router, including the ability to identify dynamically the combination of links within the mesh that forms the highest performing end-to-end data path from clients to the wired connection to the Internet, even if those links are in different frequency bands. This allows service providers and municipalities to use spectrum in the 5 GHz band with the unprecedented flexibility of dynamically shifting to the inherently more reliable 2.4 GHz band for mesh connections in areas where poor 5 GHz propagation causes performance or reliability problems.

The MetroMesh OS intelligently manages multiple radio interfaces automatically, similar to the way a wireline router accommodates multiple Ethernet, Token Ring, WAN and other interfaces. The interfaces provide the patented Tropos Predictive Wireless Routing Protocol (PWRP) with additional paths from which it can choose when maximizing end-to-end, client-server throughput.

Tropos plans to use this radio-independent approach in other new multi-radio MetroMesh routers combining Wi-Fi, MIMO, WiMAX, 4.9 GHz, 3G/4G cellular and other unlicensed and licensed radio technologies.

Tropos Networks also announced the Tropos Metro Wireless Development (TMWD) program. The TMWD program enables carriers, service providers, spectrum license holders and others to contract with Tropos to add custom radio interfaces to Tropos MetroMesh routers. This effort brings the benefits of the MetroMesh OS to proprietary radio technologies such as 802.16 running in spectrum outside of the bands defined in WiMAX Forum interoperability profiles as well as 3G/4G cellular technologies.

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