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Motorola is introducing a mesh networking platform designed mainly for municipalities: Each access point in the network can include four radios; two Wi-Fi radios operating in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band and two of Motorola’s Mesh Enabled Architecture mobile broadband radios that operate in the licensed 4.9 GHz band. The idea is that cities could deploy such networks to offer Wi-Fi access to residents but over totally separate radios offer a mobile network to public safety organizations. The press release notes the danger with trying to share networks between public safety and the public because the public might use up all the bandwidth. That’s not quite a valid argument because there are solutions out there that can offer public safety users priority. Nonetheless, having totally separate radios that operate on different frequencies is a sure way of separating traffic and ensuring that bandwidth is available for public safety users.
One of the most interesting aspects of this network is that the public safety radio users can use a capability that turns each user radio into a router/repeater. A user’s traffic can hop along other users’ radios to reach the access point. This concept has been discussed before but I haven’t seen talk of actual deployments. One of the problems with such concepts historically is what happens if no other user is nearby to carry your traffic back to the network. But presumably in this type of deployment a municipality could choose to deploy access points densely enough to ensure that users would be in reach.
Curiously, the press release is not posted on Motorola’s Web site and a search on the site for Motomesh, the name of the platform, comes up dry.
Posted by nancyg at March 16, 2005 2:37 PM
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