Page 2

By Carol Ellison  |  Posted 2005-04-22 Print this article Print

BelAir has two products on the market, BelAir 100 and BelAir 200. What new technologies are in the pipeline? We see great applicability and have built a suite of products, around backhaul. In the carrier business and, in particular, the wireless carrier business, the backhaul of cell sites back to the switching locations is really the largest operational cost and generally the highest single point of failure. BelAir has particularly focused on leveraging the mesh architecture and product evolution to meet that need. Youll see quite a bit from BelAir focused on what we call a backhaul product. It really is optimal for mesh architecture. There are multiple paths so the capacity is high. The redundancy is high. If theres a failure in the network theres automatic rerouting. This is very, very exciting, and thats one big area where youll see a lot in the coming months. Again, its about performance of the networks, its about speed of deployment, and its about operating expense and keeping that operating expense very low.
Theres also an announcement we made at CTIA focused on unified architecture for various air interfaces. WiMax is coming soon, both for access and the 802.16d for backhaul, and we have very specific plans to introduce multiservices access, such as GSM, CDMA and even third-generation. We see the products becoming very flexible and creating a new architecture, a new economic model for the industry.
It seems many vendors, like BelAir, have tried to avoid the political battles over municipal wireless and maintain harmonious working relationships between carriers and municipalities. Do you see happy middle grounds being worked out as this political battle continues? Yes. I actually do. We work closely to provide product solutions, technology solutions and economic solutions so that that middle ground can be met. At the highest level—and Im new to the muni market but, as I see it and the way I think, broadly, BelAir sees it—the city does not have to own the network. They can if it makes sense for them to own it, or they can do so in conjunction with another party. And thats personally what I see as a great solution, where the municipality doesnt necessarily have to raise the bonds and have its citizens pay for it. This is not just about mobile Internet or municipal Internet access. There are so many different types of services that can ride over this common network. We touched on a lot of these earlier. The BelAir products allow very low latency, very high capacity and these are very fundamental attributes to be able to support voice over IP, voice over Wi-Fi, video, streaming video, surveillance … so we do see a common ground where the service provider works with the municipality as the anchor tenant and provides those public services while being able to sell additional services that would meet the broad needs of both of the targeted areas. The wireless carriers will buy and build networks. Municipalities will raise bonds and build them, but I see a better solution being a mix of the two and a broader collaboration between the municipalities and the service provider so that a common set of infrastructures can be leveraged for both. Thus the operating costs can be much better and the municipalities can get out of that relationship what they need to provide appropriate services at appropriate costs to their local citizens. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.

Carol Ellison is editor of's Mobile & Wireless Topic Center. She has authored whitepapers on wireless computing (two on network security–,Securing Wi-Fi Wireless Networks with Today's Technologies, Wi-Fi Protected Access: Strong, Standards-based Interoperable Security for Today's Wi-Fi Networks, and Wi-Fi Public Access: Enabling the future with public wireless networks.

Ms. Ellison served in senior and executive editorial positions for Ziff Davis Media and CMP Media. As an executive editor at Ziff Davis Media, she launched the networking track of The IT Insider Series, a newsletter/conference/Web site offering targeted to chief information officers and corporate directors of information technology. As senior editor at CMP Media's VARBusiness, she launched the Web site, VARBusiness University, an online professional resource center for value-added resellers of information technology.

Ms. Ellison has chaired numerous industry panels and has been quoted as a networking and educational technology expert in The New York Times, Newsday, The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio's All Things Considered, CNN Headline News, WNBC and CNN/FN, as well as local and regional Comcast and Cablevision reports. Her articles have appeared in most major hi-tech publications and numerous newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel