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Issue #2003 - 16 (May 2003)
(Updated May 15, 2003)


Bandspeed, Inc. Unveils Unique Wireless LAN Infrastructure Technology

AUSTIN—April, 2003—Switch technology took Ethernet to almost every corner of the business world. It will do the same for wireless communications. Bandspeed today unveiled its Gypsy™ wireless LAN (WLAN) spatial division multiple access (SDMA) switch technology for access points (APs). Gypsy technology will be incorporated into WLAN infrastructure manufacturers’ equipment. Gypsy allows WLANs to extend their range up to three kilometers line-of-sight and provide bandwidth up to six times greater than conventional APs. Bandspeed’s technology differs from other wireless “switch” solutions in that a basic level of packet switching takes place at the AP, where up to six independent 802.11 a/b/g sectors converge. This approach delivers more megabits per second per square foot than gangs of traditional omni-directional APs wired back to a switch. “Wireless LANs are proliferating at an unprecedented rate. They are becoming very popular for home use, and, commercially, we’ve seen “hot spots” pop up all over the country,” says Walt Thirion, Chairman of the Board of Bandspeed, Inc. “As we address security and manageability issues in 2003, we’ll see also see tremendous growth in the enterprise market as well. But, as the demand for more coverage and bandwidth increases, the wireless LAN infrastructure must evolve to more sophisticated technology, such as our Gypsy switch.”

Because Gypsy innovates at the RF level, the technology is inherently compatible with typical enterprise and SME (small to medium enterprise) class AP approaches as well as with approaches that use an access point controller in the wiring closet. The form factor is targeted to be the same as that of conventional APs and is bundled with a smart antenna to allow WLAN manufacturers increased flexibility as to how they deploy the Bandspeed technology.

Key Benefits
The Gypsy architecture is initially targeted for enterprise and carrier class equipment applications and enables a migration path to high volume implementations. The architecture implements features that increase range, increase bandwidth, improve flexibility, ease deployment, and reduce total cost of ownership. Key benefits of the Gypsy architecture include:

  • Flexibility for range or density modes. The Gypsy architecture enables WLAN products that can offer a range mode of up to three kilometers line of sight (LOS) in outdoor environments while tripling the aggregate throughput of the AP. Indoor environments also see an increase in range of up to three times over conventional APs for similar deployments. Diligence was exercised in ensuring the range modes will meet FCC and ETSI compliance criteria. The same unit also offers a density mode that allows an aggregate throughput of up to six times that of traditional omni-directional APs. More importantly, the sectorized nature of the AP allows it to provide up to 11Mbps coverage near the edge of adjacent SDMA cells providing nearly complete coverage of the desired space at 11Mbps. Conventional APs provide progressively lower data rates emanating concentrically from the AP. Typically, 11Mbps is experienced in about half of the coverage area.
  • Dynamic bandwidth allocation. Bandspeed’s Gypsy architecture focuses bandwidth where it is needed. The adaptability of the solution allows coverage to be enhanced in high-demand areas, minimized in areas with low throughput requirements and dynamically optimized as required. Because coverage areas are independent, the transmit power of these coverage areas can be set such that range can be increased in certain sectors over other sectors to better match the coverage areas to the requirements.
  • For use in indoor and outdoor applications. The Gypsy architecture’s smart antenna technology, combined with intelligence software and silicon, can be used in either indoor or outdoor applications replacing directional antennas that are complicated to deploy. This is particularly applicable in residential environments where obstacles and angles make 802.11 access an especially tricky problem.

Ease of deployment: Gypsy’s intelligent architecture greatly simplifies deployment as the sectorized APs
communicate, listen, and learn from one another to allow for an installation that greatly reduces site planning and human intervention requirements. Because of the small form factor mirroring that of existing conventional APs, special site licensing permit requirements are mitigated.

  • Total cost of ownership (TCO) reduction. Wireless SDMA switches built with the Gypsy architecture will cost substantially less than the capacity-equivalent number of traditional WLAN APs. Additionally, Gypsy addresses scalability concerns through both its software configurability and the capacity to handle up to six times as many users as a single conventional AP.

Source: Bandspeed site

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: Bandspeed technology is worth watching. The company is not alone in its quest to extend the range of WLAN through RF signal strength preservation using smart antenna. There are others chasing this space. 

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of Securities Exchange act of 1934 in USA. Similar provisions exist in other countries. There is no assurance that the stipulated plans of vendors will be implemented. MobileInfo does not warrant the authenticity of the information. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.

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