BelAir Eyes Partners

wireless networking infrastructure

BelAir's new Complementary Solutions Partner program will enable the company's existing solution providers to more quickly put together a package of wireless hardware and software to build mesh networks, said Phil Belanger, vice president of marketing at BelAir.

Nodes on mesh networks use a wireless backhaul and thus are better suited for large wireless WAN deployments, such as those in metropolitan areas or on college campuses.

BelAir already has an Authorized Reseller Program for VARs, and the company expects about 50 percent of its business to go through the channel this year, Belanger said.

BelAir initially aims to sign up technology partners for the new program in four broad categories: subscriber access gateways and subscriber management; network management; voice over Wi-Fi; and network security.

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Partners signing up for the new program will have the opportunity to engage in co-marketing and co-selling opportunities with BelAir.

Kanata, Ontario-based BelAir also will test and validate the partners' technology with BelAir's wireless nodes, the BelAir200 and BelAir100 Wireless Switch Routers, to ensure compatibility.

A startup launched in 2003, BelAir is one of several companies jockeying for position against larger networking providers such as Nortel Networks and Cisco Systems in the emerging mesh networking infrastructure space. Other companies in that segment include Strix Systems and Firetide.

Kevin Dufresne, president of Baton Rouge, La.-based solution provider Super Net, teamed with BelAir to build a wireless mesh network for an apartment complex near the Louisiana State University campus. Dufresne said BelAir's wireless infrastructure was "the most robust" of the five products Super Net tested for the deployment, which also included wireless routers from Strix, Tropos Networks and YDI Wireless.