SkyPilot & DragonWave: Cheaper/Faster Infrastructure

Posted by Sam Churchill on



SkyPilot Networks, a broadband wireless mesh network used by Metropolitan WiFi companies like MetroFi, today launched the SkyAccess DualBand, a low-cost dual-radio product. It’s designed to complement SkyPilot’s existing line of citywide Wi-Fi products with one radio dedicated to backhaul and a second radio providing Wi-Fi access.

The SkyAccess DualBand’s architecture is similar to SkyPilot’s flagship product, the SkyExtender DualBand but does not extend the mesh, — it resides at the “mesh edge” as the last hop of the mesh network.

With the SkyAccess DualBand implemented as the last hop, capital expenditures for a citywide Wi-Fi deployment can be reduced by up to 33 percent, says SkyPilot.

Key features of the SkyAccess DualBand include:

  • A mesh backhaul component that operates in the 4.9-5.8 GHz frequency band and uses a high-power (400 mW / 26 dBm) radio and high-gain (16 dBi) directional antenna to provide high modulation rates over long distances (up to 7.5 miles / 12 kilometers) to an upstream mesh node.
  • SkyPilot’s patent-pending SyncMesh protocol is used in the mesh backhaul to synchronize and coordinate mesh transmissions to increase overall capacity and mitigate self-interference.
  • A Wi-Fi access point that operates in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz frequency band and uses a high-power (400 mW / 26 dBm) radio and high-gain (7.4 dBi) omnidirectional antenna to provide IEEE 802.11b/g support to Wi-Fi clients such as laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)/dual-mode phones.
  • An integrated Ethernet port for connecting devices such as video surveillance cameras, automated meter reading (AMR) transceivers and telemetry equipment.
  • An optional light pole mounting bracket with photoelectric connector.

SkyPilot also introduced version 1.5 of the SkyControl mesh management system (above), which integrates with the Google Earth, combining terrain maps of Google Earth with the SkyControl graphical mesh management system.

The SkyAccess DualBand is available in a variety of configurations of backhaul frequencies in the 4.9-5.8 GHz spectrum. It has a list price of $1,799 and are available through SkyPilot’s distributors.

Meanwhile, microwave backhaul innovator DragonWave, today introduced the Horizon Compact, a one-piece Gigabit Ethernet microwave transmission system.

DragonWave’s Horizon Compact product will operate in the 11- to 38-GHz licensed radio frequencies, providing a scalable, low-latency, Ethernet connectivity up to 800 Mbps.

DragonWave’s Horizon Compact lowers capital and operational costs by integrating all necessary electronics in a single, 9-inch-square outdoor device. Installation and other operational burden can be reduced, as there is no indoor backhaul equipment for the carrier to support and the Horizon Compact demands no footprint in indoor base-station cabinets.

A Ring/Mesh architecture can deployed by using DragonWave links, in tandem with an approved Ethernet switch, and a DragonWave multi-beam antenna assembly. It can be deployed with any of the following licensing options:

  • Area License (i.e. 24 GHz DEMS, 28 GHz LMDS, 26 GHz LMDS);
  • Link-by-Link licensing (i.e. 11, 13, 15, 18, 23, 26 GHz); and
  • 24 GHz Unlicensed.

List cost for a pair of 100Mbps links is $15K, with software enabling yet higher speeds. DragonWave will display the Horizon Compact at CTIA Wireless 2007, March 27-29 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, March 12th, 2007 at 8:12 am .

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