Motorola Expands Capabilities of Municipal Wireless Networks


A new radio configuration provides dedicated mesh networking capabilities to ensure public safety workers are not fighting for capacity and information is not going out over unlicensed frequencies.

Specifically, Motorola will expand its Motomesh Duo radio meshed WiFi product, currently available in 2.4/5.8 GHz configuration, to include a 4.9 GHz model as well as a 5.4 GHz model for international customers. Additional features will also be incorporated, including adaptable Internet gateways, Web-based management tools and dual-meshing capabilities.

Traditionally, wireless networks have two flavors of access points -- gateway nodes that connect to a wired network or backbone, and simple wireless meshing routers with no backhaul connection. With the latest enhancements to Motomesh Duo, one box can accommodate either type, according to the needs of the deployment. "In deployment, the service provider and customer can decide whether to use a gateway or not," says Chip Yager, director of operations for Motorola's Mesh Networks Group. But as the networks evolve and customers need to add capacity, they just inject more bandwidth by converting any [router] to a gateway node automatically."

Vice versa, if a public safety agency loses backhaul to a gateway node, the system adapts and routes those messages to a different node, rather than leaving a hole in the network. At the same time, two, single-radio mesh devices allow parallel networks -- 2.4 GHz/4.9 GHz -- to run separately from a single piece of hardware with one management system. And a dual band client access card delivers the capabilities of private, dedicated 4.9 GHz spectrum and designated 2.4 GHz spectrum for public access.

Sponsored post

For managing a less expansive network, Motorola now offers a web-based alternative to its Mesh Manager server-based option, requiring no additional equipment to make adjustments to the network remotely, via an online application

"Learn to use the network, start to see the return on investment, then grow it from there," Yager says. "The driver [to implement public WiFi networks] in the past was public access. The questions were more often how many will want to pay for wireless access to Internet, or how can we bridge the digital divide and provide access to remote locations. But now the municipalities are looking at these capabilities in terms of a wireless backbone. How do I make this work for public safety, utilities, public services and citizen services? They may also get the public access benefits, but first they want the tangible ROI."