Resellers Target Municipal WiFi
Sure, WiFi hardware sales are booming. And WiFi use more than doubled from January to October 2006, according to iPass Inc. But The VAR Guy hears more and more solutions providers complaining about market saturation.
That’s why many WiFi VARs are pushing into wireless mesh technology. In a mesh system, found primarily in municipal broadband networks, communications are routed intelligently between wireless nodes. If a node within the mesh fails, communications are automatically routed to the next available node–thereby providing enhanced reliability.
Outsource Inc., a Longwood, Fla.-based solutions provider, was among the first VARs to take the wireless mesh plunge, and is now working with municipalities across the southeast on public broadband projects. “We see wireless mesh as the single largest growth technology for the next five years,” crows Dennis C. Holmes, director of wireless services at Outsource. In order to cash in on that opportunity, Outsource has become fully certified to sell and support Cisco’s WiFi and mesh products
Cisco faces plenty of competition in the mesh market. In addition to established giants like Motorola and Nortel, the wireless mesh sector is filled with specialized vendors–including BelAir Networks, Tropos Networks and SkyPilot Networks. Each of those companies is working overtime to bring integrators into the public broadband sector.
For instance, SkyPilot in September launched its AirPower Channel Partner Program and quickly recruited 49 solutions providers across the globe. SkyPilot also inked distribution relationships with Winncom Technologies and TESSCO Technologies to serve North and South America VARs.
Watch for more VARs to embrace wireless mesh in the months ahead.