Vivato Finally Goes 11g

By Eric Griffith

October 12, 2004

The long-range panel the company uses for covering large outdoor areas will be its first to support the bigger bandwidth of 802.11g.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Vivato said today it would start shipping a new Outdoor Wi-Fi base station, a mountable all-weather panel used for providing large scale Wi-Fi coverage—the company's first to use 54Mbps 802.11g. Up to this point, Vivato has utilized only the slower (11Mbps) 802.11b in products it has shipped to about 200 customers.

"We've used the phased array antenna technology to do the same for 11g that we do for 11b," says Kevin Ryan, Vivato's vice president of business development. He says the company took its time to get to 11g due to internal priorities—such as ramping up production with the initial 11b base stations for indoors and out.

The extra bandwidth in 11g will be put to use, he expects, in deployments with a high density of users, or where applications using high bandwidth are in play. For example, he said, a downtown hotzone might be happy with 802.11b, but a park in that zone filled with college students doing wireless work—or downloading movies and music—might benefit from the 11g base station. Likewise for applications like IP-based surveillance cameras with full-motion video.

"Existing customers will use 11g to augment their existing network," says Ryan. "They're not looking to replace the b base with 11g. [If] they have a couple of dead spots... they add microcells to add capacity."

The Outdoor base station (model VP2210) will be smaller than the 11b model at roughly 3 feet square, and it'll be cheaper. The expected price is $9,995, while the 11b model is $13,995. Ryan says this reduction is due to "better cost savings and integration" in the 11g unit. It will be on sale in November.

The company will also soon sell an indoor version for 11g, which will cost $5,995 (compared to the 11b model, which will be less expensive indoors at $3,995). The company's micro and pico cells are access points that fill in gaps of coverage.

In the future, Ryan says, it should be a simple matter to go to other wireless specifications.

"We can easily go 11b to 11g, and then go 11g to 11a, and different frequencies as well. We can roll out different data rates and protocols," he says. One area the company is looking seriously at is, no surprise, WiMax/802.16. Ryan says, "WiMax is on our roadmap now, initially as a backhaul solution... as .16 WiMax chipsets are put into laptops and handhelds, then it can be for service distribution."

Vivato is a prime competitor for other outdoor Wi-Fi equipment providers, especially in the municipal space where many of the others are using self-healing/self-configuring mesh network technology, such as Tropos Networks and FireTide.

Wi-Fi Planet Conference Want to see the Vivato 802.11g Base Station in action?

Join us at the next Wi-Fi Planet Conference & Expo, November 30 to December 2, 2004 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif. The company will be an exhibitor at the show floor as well as speaking on topics like using Wi-Fi as a tool for the whole community.


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