Proxim Pumps the A.I.R.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — WISPs looking for more security in their wireless last-mile connections take note. The Tsunami Multipoint system, which Proxim has had shipping for some time, has a new edition featuring a technology they call Active Interference Rejection or A.I.R., as well as an upgrade for supporting Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic.

Tsunami Multipoint uses the unlicensed and (so far) uncrowded 5.8GHz band — not 802.11 — to get throughput up to 20Megabits per second (Mbps) at 6 miles distance and 60Mbps at 3 miles for point-to-multipoint connections. There is a smaller base station for the subscriber end, and a larger base for the carrier end, with all the necessary components built in to the weather proof, roof- or building-mountable case that are easily wired back to the main network. The products are aimed squarely at Internet Service Providers looking to go wireless, and campus or enterprise deployments.

The freshly patented A.I.R. is for improving signals by nullifying horizontal and vertically linear polarized signals. While most products in this category linear polarization of its signals, both horizontal and vertical — to avoid problems you sometime just spin an antenna to another axis. The Tsunami Multipoint with A.I.R. uses a combination of horizontal, vertical, and left-hand circular polarization of signals to minimize multipath signals.

Each carrier side base station can support a 60-degree sector for signals, with up to 1,023 potential subscriber station units in that beam. If interference is detected, the carrier side can shut down a 2- to 3-degree slice where that interference exists. While this is happening, the Tsunami Multipoints are continuously scanning for new interference sources during the gaps in time between information processing.

The Tsunami Multipath with A.I.R. is not an upgrade available to existing versions — it requires an all new base station on the carrier end to support.

Ken Haase, director of product marketing and business development for Proxim, calls the A.I.R. technology “investment protection” for operators because the products can “eliminate 99.5% to 99.9% of an interfering signal.”

He also says that within the next six months, the Proxim ORiNOCO Wireless Network Manager software product will not only control all of Proxim’s 802.11 products, but the Tsunami line as well. Last month, the company announced a new version of the software, version 1.1.

The VoIP support, new to the entire Tsunami Multipoint line, means offices or campes can now share voice traffic as well as data, by interconnecting PBXes. The Tsunami Multipoint will prioritize voice traffic when needed.

Prices of the new Multipoints with A.I.R. are $7,495 for the 20Mbps version and $13,995 for the 60Mbps; versions without A.I.R. are still available for $4,995 (20Mbps) and $9,995 (60Mbps). Proxim expects to do volume production of the new A.I.R. versions by the middle of December, with approval for overseas shipments in the first quarter of 2003.

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