Tropos, Ruckus Wireless team up on mesh networking

Coinciding with the launch of Cisco's mesh networking solution, Tropos Networks and Ruckus Wireless announced plans to jointly develop and market their solutions for outdoor mesh networking. Outdoor mesh networks include extensions to an enterprise's WLAN and muni-WiFi. The partnership will integrate Ruckus' residential gateways with Tropos' mesh networking infrastructure. Ruckus' offering, called MetroFlex, uses smart antenna technology to choose the best incoming broadband signal from Tropos' MetroMesh network. Tropos currently claims 250 customers and plans to launch a partnership program with 18 other companies. It's also unveiling Tropos Insight, hardware and software that pulls data from the network about inactive links, throughput and packet loss and then displays it graphically. A second addition, Tropos Drive, will allow end users to test how the mesh is working in their specific area.

Analysts see Cisco's entrance into mesh networking as a sign of the market's maturation. Nortel launched its mesh offerings in 2004, the same year Motorola acquired startup Mesh Networks. Strix, BelAir and Tropos launched their mesh offerings even earlier. Cisco's entrance will stiffen competition in the mesh networking space, but the muni-WiFi trend is taking off and Tropos has the experience in this niche.

For more on the Tropos, Ruckus Wireless partnership:
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