Mesh Networking: Protecting the Homeland

Two mesh networking companies moved forward with design wins, tailoring their first products toward homeland security operations.

Two mesh networking companies have moved forward with design wins, tailoring their first products toward homeland security operations.

On Monday, Motorola Inc. and MeshNetworks Inc. agreed to work together; initially, Motorola will resell the MeshNetworks product line, with the option to integrate the technology into its own products at a future time. In an unrelated agreement, Nortel Networks said Tuesday that it will market rival PacketHops technology in a dedicated product line. PacketHop also said it has received an additional $10 million in venture capital.

Both announcements were timed to coincide with the opening of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials conference in Montreal. Mesh networking proponents say their technology is uniquely suited to provide a robust, self-healing wireless network infrastructure in the case of an emergency. Moreover, even almost three years after 9/11, security budgets remain high.

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The Motorola-MeshNetworks mobile broadband networking and position-location solutions will be offered as part of Motorolas wireless broadband data portfolio for enterprise, utility and public safety customers, the companies said.

The agreement also gives Motorola rights to integrate components of MeshNetworks technology, including the MeshNetworks Positioning System and MeshConnex software suites, into future data products such as those in the recently allocated 4.9GHz FCC licensed band allocated to the public safety infrastructure. Currently, the Motorola-Mesh Networks products utilize the 2.4GHz band.

"Our focus right now is bringing broadband data for our broadband-enabled safety customers," Nick Rendone, vice president responsible for wireless broadband solutions at Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola, said in a Monday interview. "Its a basic supply agreement, a reselling package."

More important will be the jump to 4.9GHz coverage, Rendone said, which will take place at an undisclosed date. At that point, the mesh will be able to operate free of the interference from other RF devices that can clog the 2.4GHz band.

Next Page: Nortels mesh moves.