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June 15, 2005
By Tara Seals
BelAir Networks today introduced the BelAir50c wireless mesh node at Wi-Fi/VoWi-Fi Planet in Baltimore, along with the BelAir BelView Network Management System (NMS). The single-radio BelAir50c is designed for small mesh clusters at the edge of a BelAir Networks wide-area wireless broadband network. The move is targeted to the metro-scale Wi-Fi needs of service providers, carriers and municipalities.
The BelAir50c allows BelAir to offer thin data-only networks covering large open areas in tandem for the high-capacity wireless broadband networks in urban centers they are known for, which provide video, voice and data services.
Customers traditionally have been forced to choose between low-cost versus high-capacity networks capable of supporting voice, video and data services, says Bernard Herscovich, president and CEO at BelAir. Now, with the addition of the BelAir50c to our product family, we offer them a low-cost mesh node from which they can build mesh clusters that scale into larger networks when they need it. With the BelAir solution, customers no longer have to sacrifice future capacity and capability for near-term budget constraints.
The BelAir50c uses 802.11g to support both Wi-Fi client access and wireless backhaul. It also features BelAirs rugged, environmentally hardened design, and includes diversity omni-directional antennas, 100mbps Ethernet line interface, Layer 2 switch and a power supply with two-hour battery backup. Each unit is designed to operate as part of a shared mesh cluster of up to 10 nodes. The BelAir50c automatically discovers other BelAir50c units nearby to create a mesh cluster. Using BelAirs advanced mesh routing protocol, packets are forwarded though the optimal path to the node in the cluster that is supplying the wired or wireless backhaul. The BelAir50c supports multiple SSID and VLAN configurations. It will be generally available in September 2005 for a list price of $2795.
The wireless mesh war of words is now over, said Phil Belanger, vice president of marketing at BelAir. By adding the BelAir50c and incorporating the shared mesh software in the BelAir100 and BelAir200 for both access and backhaul, BelAir now offers every possible type of wireless mesh infrastructure for metro and wide-area deployments. We move beyond esoteric technical arguments and simply recommend network designs that match the customers budget and application requirements. Single radio mesh is for small clusters, dual radio mesh interconnects clusters with larger networks and BelAirs unique multi-radio mesh operates at the core of high capacity networks and is used to aggregate multiple clusters together.
Those wide-area wireless broadband networks can now be managed from a single console with the introduction of the BelAir BelView. The software package allows network operators to configure, monitor and manage a complete network built with any combination of BelAir200 wireless multi-service switch routers, BelAir100 wireless multi-service nodes, or BelAir50c wireless mesh cluster nodes. The BelView is comprised of a server application and a series of alternate clients that can be used in real time to remotely monitor and manage a complete spectrum of network surveillance and provisioning tools. Network managers can use the BelView NMSs intuitive graphical interface to access management data, and manage individual nodes and the logical elements of their BelAir network. The software allows for network element management over Ethernet or over Wi-Fi. It can also be used for network configuration or restoration.
The BelAir BelView will be generally available on June 30. Beginning in July, all BelAir hardware shipments will include the BelView NMS Software with a 30-day trial license.
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