Much has been written about the failure of communication systems during and following Hurricane Katrina. There is legislation pending in Congress to create a public-safety dedicated band. In the meantime, Colorado Springs, Colorado-based SkyPilot Networks is adding 4.9 GHz licensed bands to its product line, thus making its offerings more suitable for use in public safety networks. The SkyExtender DualBand is a mesh backhaul product which supports both 802.11b/g access services and 4.9 GHz public safety radio. The company hopes to make make sub-5 GHz meshes more viable for municipalities and first responders, because both cannot rely solely on WiFi meshes. Dual-band networks may cost up to $1,800 per node. SkyPilot's synchronous mesh protocol allows for deterministic QoS with dynamic reroute and load-balancing capability and with 45° sectorized antennas for the basestation meshes.
Future additions to SkyPilot meshes using 802.16 frequencies will also use synchronous protocols. A spokesperson said that the company was "able to take advantage of synchronous protocols across the mesh, because every system has a GPS chip in it for assuring accurate time-stamping."
For more on SkyPilot's latest offering:
- see company's press release
ALSO: Los Gatos, California-based Firetide also shows 4.9 GHz public safety mesh. Release