Motorola Moves Wi-Fi Outdoors For New SMB Applications
The company's new AP 7181 access point optimizes 802.11 Wi-Fi for outdoor applications with up to a quarter-mile range to make possible a wide variety of new SMB applications -- among other uses.
The company's new AP 7181 access point optimizes 802.11 Wi-Fi for outdoor applications with up to a quarter-mile range to make possible a wide variety of new SMB applications -- among other uses."A lot of small businesses can make business use of a private WLAN that goes outdoors," said Chip Yager, director of operations in Motorola's Mesh Networks Product Group. He cited marinas and small private airports that could use the system to connect its own devices, and also sell network access to boat and plane owners. Any business in a heavily touristed area could use it to offer Internet connectivity to passers-by. Construction companies could use the AP 7181 to support their workers' handheld communications devices without paying separate cellular connection costs. Other applications include mining and landfill sites, connecting fixed surveillance cameras, and remote control and monitoring of Wi-Fi devices. "You can't run wires everywhere," Yager pointed out.
I don't typically think of Wi-Fi, even 802.11n, as a wide area outdoor solution, but Yager explained that the AP 7181 packs 4 Watts of power -- compared to 250mW in a typical indoor 802.11 access point. In addition to more-sensitive reception technology, it also uses Motorola's ADvanced Element Panel Technology (ADEPT) antenna system that avoid the interference common with high-powered protruding antennas -- "It's not a porcupine," Yager said -- and generates more heat than would be acceptable in most indoor locations. The device could be used in large factory installations, however. And it may extend the life of enterprise and municipal Wi-Fi installations.
While the AP 7181 can cover distances of up to a quarter mile in "greenfield" situations with no obstacles or competing signals, for larger applications the AP 7181 supports Wi-Fi mesh networks that can extend the range as needed, including working seamlessly with the AP 7131 indoor access point. Motorola says its MeshConnex technology can even support connections from moving vehicles.
Of course, 802.11n bandwidth can get crowded, especially in urban areas. But becaus it uses unlicensed spectrum, "whoever brings the biggest guns wins," Yager said, "and these are some pretty big guns."
The AP 7181 is expected to ship in the fourth quater, with pricing beginning around $5,000.
The Motorola AP 7181 doesn't dsiplay a forest of dipole antennas.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Digital Transformation Myths & TruthsTransformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.