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Motorola Unveils Wide Area Mesh AP

The AP7181 802.11n access point is likely to be beneficial to enterprise Wi-Fi networks.

Some older enterprise and municipal installations will be getting a new and improved lease on life thanks to Motorola's new 802.11n outdoor mesh wide area solution.

Unveiled Thursday by Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Solutions business, the AP 7181 access point offers data speeds of up to 300 Mbps and is backward-compatible with existing 802.11a/b/g mesh installations. The mesh wide area solution is paired with Motorola's Advanced Element Panel Technology antenna system, which enables improved routing, low hop latency, low routing overhead, high-speed handoffs, and scalability.

The AP 7181 is robust enough, Motorola said, for it to maintain continuous video connections to moving vehicles and trains. The feature could provide realtime video surveillance. Motorola expects the AP 7181 to be used in various outdoor fixed and mobile applications from automated meter reading to surveillance applications.

Noting that Motorola is targeting the outdoor mesh solution at enterprise and municipal customers, Scott French, a Motorola vice president, said in a statement: "Motorola's high-capacity, high-throughput 802.11n mesh solution will enable customers to future-proof their network infrastructure investments to support both current as well as future application needs."

The AP7181 is likely to be beneficial to enterprise Wi-Fi networks, which have generally been rolled out in smaller applications than municipal applications many of which have been abandoned because of cost and deployment issues.

Motorola noted that some of its companion products operate well with the AP 7181, specifically its One Point Wireless Suite, which enables rapid deployment and reduced network costs. The company's software-based BroadbandPlanner intuitively aids in the design and deployment of outdoor 802.11n mesh wireless networks, the firm observed. Finally, Motorola's Wireless Manager monitors, manages, and optimizes the mesh network.

The AP 7181 will be available for purchase before the end of the year, Motorola said.


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