With the growing popularity of citywide Wi-Fi networks, wireless mesh networking is starting to take off.
Strix Systems is hoping to ride that wave of opportunity with its recent launch of a new system for building outdoor wireless mesh networks. The new Access/One Network Outdoor Wireless System (OWS) from Strix is aimed squarely at providing Wi-Fi access for large outdoor network deployments, such as metropolitan or rural area networks, said Doug Huemme, associate vice president of strategic and channel marketing at Strix, Calabasas, Calif. Strix already offers an Access/One Network product for indoor mesh network deployments.
The outdoor system supports 802.11a, b or g and features six radios per node vs. the indoor system's three radios, Huemme said. It also has a weatherproof enclosure that is rust-resistant and corrosion-proof and can be exposed to a temperature range of between minus 30 degrees Celsius and 55 degrees Celsius, he said.
Mesh networks are different from typical WLANs in that access points or nodes use a wireless backhaul for connections, so each node does not require a direct connection to a LAN.
Mesh networking is a popular option for large metropolitan Wi-Fi deployments because its wireless backhaul makes it easier to deploy the multiple nodes needed for a wide coverage area, said Michael Bridge, sales and marketing manager at Connectronics, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based distributor of wireless networking products.