Wavion Develops Beam Forming for Wi-Fi

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2006-08-07 Print this article Print

New Wi-Fi access points are aimed at municipal and metro applications.

Wavion of San Jose is announcing a new spatially adaptive, beam forming Wi-Fi access point aimed at the municipal and metro wireless markets.

The new Wavion WS410 is designed to use its ability to direct RF (radio frequency) energy on a packet by packet basis to double the range of standard Wi-Fi APs, as well as to penetrate buildings and foliage and eliminate interference.

According to Wavion marketing VP Alan Menezes, the overall capital expense of adopting the Wavion solution is cut in half, despite the higher cost of each access point.
Exact pricing of Wavions product was not available at the time this article was published. Menezes said that the Wavion AP uses variable amplitude and phasing with its six antennas to deliver a strong RF signal to a specific location in space. In this, it resembles products from TZero, reported on in early June by eWEEK, except that TZero uses its capabilities to deliver HDTV over Wi-Fi rather than using it for transmission to mobile devices. The technology "eliminates dead spots and provides uniform coverage," Menezes said. He also said that it effectively quadruples the area covered by each AP. "Its a better ROI," he said. "You need one-third the number of access points, so its about half the deployment cost per square mile." Click here to read more about Pasadenas municipal Wi-Fi. According to Wavion founder and CTO Dr. Mati Wax, the Wavion WS410 will begin shipping commercially in early September. "We concluded from an RF standpoint, all Wi-Fi was the same," said Jeff Blank, CTO for Conxx, Inc. in Cumberland, Md., who tested the unit in the field "until we saw the Wavion unit. It had better throughput and coverage." Conxx has the job of providing municipal wireless service for Allegany County, Maryland, where Cumberland is located. Currently theyre delivering access through fixed wireless with a licensed microwave backbone and a cell switched core. "Its a government owned network, but we bring on ISPs who sell on the network for public access," he said. Blank said that Wi-Fi has gotten a lot of public interest lately, and that the municipalities had come to Conxx about using it. Blank said that while he cant announce specific plans for the service, his company may install the Wi-Fi service in the county. He also said that Conxx is building networks in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. To date, no other commercial or municipal implementation of the Wavion product has been announced. 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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