Motorola Promises Robust Networking with Cable Mesh

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2006-06-20 Print this article Print

The new "hurricane-proof" wireless product combines a cable modem and a Wi-Fi access point in a single container for campus and metro wireless broadband.

Motorola will be making a new mesh networking device designed to work in a cable broadband environment, the company said in an announcement June 20 at the Cable-Tech Expo in Denver. According to the Schaumburg, Ill., companys announcement, the new product, which draws on Motorolas wireless expertise as well as its dominant position in the cable broadband market, can be installed by cable operators where coverage is needed, and operators can use their cable infrastructure to connect to the Internet. "What Motorolas done is create a way where weve combined some of our wireless innovation with the infrastructure were already providing to cable operators," said spokesperson Paul Alfieri.
"Its as easy as provisioning a cable modem," he said.
Rivals agree on the 802.11s wireless mesh proposal. Click here to read more. Alfieri described the new product, called Cable Mesh, as a cable modem and a Wi-Fi AP (access point) installed together in a hardened container. "Its hurricane-proof," he said. The AP will have two antennas, one for providing access to users and the other for connecting to the mesh network, he said. Because its part of a mesh, not all of the APs would need to be connected to the cable. "This allows the cable operator to put a very simple wireless access point right off their infrastructure to create a broad coverage area for wireless broadband," Alfieri said. Motorola merges its enterprise mobility and networks businesses. Read more here. "The neat thing about the mesh networking architecture is that the operator can put these access points in overlapping spheres so you can cover a broad area … The mesh networking technology allows you to roam from access point to access point and not lose your security or your log-in," he added. Because the wireless APs are part of a mesh network, they have characteristics that can be more robust than single-point Wi-Fi. "Even if your signal gets blocked, the mesh network can route around obstructions," Alfieri said: "The network will self-form and self-heal." He said the Cable Mesh devices can also handle non-consumer communications, such wireless data applications for fire and police departments. The Cable Mesh line, part of Motorolas MotoWi4 wireless product family, is shipping now. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.
Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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