Wireless Vendors Partner Up For N+I

NetGear, a wired/wireless networking vendor based in San Jose, Calif., is set to unveil a co-marketing partnership with Firetide, a mesh networking vendor based in Los Gatos, Calif., aimed at deploying large-scale WLANs in locations too difficult or costly to reach with wires.

The partnership includes a bundled solution made up of NetGear ProSafe wireless access points and Firetide Hotpoint Wireless Mesh Routers.

Kevin Allan, director of product marketing at NetGear, said the pact allows partners the opportunity to lower the cost and complexity of a WLAN installation by unwiring the LAN backhaul portion of the wireless network.

Allan said NetGear would also unveil a partnership with Perfigo, a San Francisco-based network security vendor. As part of the partnership, Perfigo's network management and security software would be integrated with NetGear's wireless networking products and aimed at large-scale deployments.

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Allan said while the partnerships are aimed at more scalable solutions for larger deployments, NetGear remains focused on the SMB market.

NetGear also plans to announce that its Layer 3 24 2 Managed 10/100 Power-over-Ethernet Switch has been certified to work with the ShoreTel5 IP telephone system. Allan said the combined solution offers SMB customers a more affordable and easy-to-deploy voice over Internet solution.

Meanwhile, Firetide also plans to unveil its new HotPoint 1000R outdoor wireless mesh router. The new router is based on Firetide's mesh networking technology, which uses IEEE 802.11-compliant radios and wireless routing technology to essentially unwire the Ethernet backhaul and create a self-configuring mesh network that Firetide dubs its Wireless Instant Network.

The Instant Network is an IP network that supports point-to-point, multipoint and IP multicast routing. Firetide Instant Networks scale and self-configure by plugging HotPoints into standard AC power outlets.

"So there's no need for a central controller," said Sunil Dhar, director of product marketing at Firetide. "It's a full mesh router and if one node goes down, the other node takes over."

Dhar said the 1000R is a good fit for areas such as campus networks, downtown hot zones and outdoor communities such as marinas, RV parks and outdoor events. It provides coverage up to 2 miles omni-directionally, and features two weather-sealed Ethernet ports for connection to any Ethernet device, such as surveillance cameras or access points. It's also weatherized for deployment in extreme weather conditions by using NEMA Class 4 enclosure built-in lightning protection.

Frederick Harris, director of channel marketing at Firetide, said the HotPoint 1000R offers solution providers an opportunity to extend the mesh network and deploy a new host of applications. The new HotPoint 1000R is set to become available in June with a street price of $1,999.