The Tropos Two-Play Router

Tropos Networks has beefed up its gear by releasing the first in a product family of routers to give growing number of
municipalities more choices in citywide wireless access.

The Tropos 5320 MetroMesh dual-band Wi-Fi router is equipping
wireless mesh networks being built in San Francisco, Philadelphia and
New Orleans.

The router allows cities to tailor the amount of capacity and investment
in mesh networking projects, according to Bert
Williams, marketing director for Tropos, who said the networks are becoming very popular.

Unlike previous mesh routers, the 5320 employs two wireless radios
with intelligent software better able to decrease interference and
provide more options for cities, according to Tropos.

Typical two-radio routers designate a high-bandwidth 5GHz radio for

While it enables a higher capacity, the 5GHz spectrum
often faces interference from walls or leaves on a tree.

For that
reason, the second mesh radio employs 2.4GHz, providing users a
network connection that doesn’t require line-of-sight to operate.

An enhanced MetroMesh operating system dynamically determines which
band is best suited for a city.

A municipality could use 5GHz in
areas where they need to increase capacity, but turn to 2.4 GHz in
areas with fewer users, Williams told

Saar Gillai, vice
president of engineering at Tropos, said in a statement that mesh vendors without significant outdoor deployment experience throw
a bunch of radios in a box and think they’re done.

The days of single-radio mesh network gear are over, agreed Roberta
Wiggins of Yankee Group. While Tropos once had the lead, the market
is getting more competitive with other companies quickly catching up,
she said.

In-Stat analyst Daryl Schoolar said the new Tropos gear competes with Motorola , BelAir and

Earlier this year, Google chose EarthLink as a partner to unwire San Francisco.

The company also announced the Tropos Wireless Development program,
enabling Tropos to tailor its MetroMesh routers to carriers, service
providers and others offering WiMAX or 3G.

The Tropos MetroMesh 5320 outdoor router ships in October, according
to the Sunnyvale, Calif. company.

Other products in the MetroMesh router family will include multi-radio
routers combining a variety of wireless technologies including MIMO,
WiMAX, 4.9 GHz and 3G/4G cellular, Tropos said.

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