Double the Wireless Bandwidth

By Alex Goldman

January 12, 2005

Wireless equipment maker DragonWave, specializing in the 18 GHz to 26 GHz range, has announced a seriously improved product.

Ottawa, Ontario-based DragonWave, Inc. is today announcing, at the WCA International Symposium in San Jose, California, the availability of its new AirPair 200 product. The new product provides full duplex 200 Mbps throughput (about 212 Mbps air rate) and is 802.3 compatible for connecting to next generation Gigabit Ethernet gear.

"There's a lot of interest these days in putting it into a mesh network configuration," says Peter Allen, the company's CEO (see DragonWave Embraces Customers With a New CEO).

The AirPair 200 is available in frequencies ranging from 18 GHz to 26 GHz. The 24 GHz frequency is unlicensed in the U.S. for point to point deployments. The 18 GHz and 23 GHz frequencies are licensed by the FCC on a per link basis and DragonWave has a software tool that automates the creation of the paperwork for each link application.

Greg Friesen, DragonWave product line manager, says the AirPair product line is made in five frequency variants, all roughly equally popular.

Allen adds that the AirPair 200 is available in a Flex configuration like other DragonWave solutions.

The company believes that its product will be very popular with companies deploying mesh networks even though, in the past, the majority of its customers have used the product for campus deployments.

"Some of the larger planned deployments are considering mesh," enthuses Allen. "Backhaul limits the number of nodes on the mesh. The AirPair 200 makes it possible to scale the mesh organically."

He notes, however, that some companies deploying mesh networks are considering an architecture composed of multiple complimentary meshes instead of a single unified mesh. (At ISP-Planet, we expect at least one mesh to fail spectacularly somewhere purely through lack of adequate backhaul.)

Allen expects companies to demand ever faster wireless backhaul solutions. "There are a number of options as to what we could do to improve the capacity in response to further mesh deployments, and certainly we would like to remain in a leadership position [in terms of actual throughput over a wireless link]. However, we're not ready to discuss which route we'll take to improve the bandwidth."

Pricing and availability
The AirPair 200 is available now, for a price that's about a third more than the AirPair 100. The AirPair200 is also available in a flex configuration, in which the purchaser pays a percentage of the eventual price for a fraction of the bandwidth, but can unlock the full potential of the product by purchasing license upgrades (see Upgradable Radio Promises Cheaper Point of Entry).

Reprinted from ISP Planet.

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