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Wavion's WiFi access points could help Google in SF


Wavion is a San Jose-based start-up (with offices in Israel) that says it has a better technology to provide metropolitan area WiFi access points for the outdoors.

It has been in stealth until now. It says it is not too late for Google to consider using Wavion access points to wire San Francisco (clarification: We've since been reminded that Google's partner, Earthlink, is the anchor tenant in charge of the SF project, and so this will be Earthlink's decision).

It is backed with $22 million from big-name venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, as well as Elron Electronics, Star Ventures and BRM Capital.

Wavion says it delivers stronger connections at higher speeds, and with fewer dead spots. One
Wavion access point does the work of three to four conventional action points, which lowers costs for service providers, the company says. Click on graphic below for comparisons; Wavion is on right, convention access point is on left.

The company says conventional metro WiFi installations require a dense deployment of access points, and that is why Google has been delayed in meshing Mountain View with WiFi.

Founded in 2002, the company uses what it calls MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) technology. Each access point has six antennas, and they each have transceivers that are both transmitting and receiving. The company's scientists did their PhDs at Stanford in the early 1980s, including early work on smart antenna technology.

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Doesn't the giant Cisco have any offerings in this space that we are starting to see so many players in the wireless market?


Startups.in on May 21, 2006 11:22 PM
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matt - your link to WiFi issues here:

is incorrect - that delay refers to the Mtn View install, San Francisco hasn't even begun negotiating the contract with Earthlink/Google. Also San Francisco asked for 95% outdoor, 90% indoor coverage - a much higher standard than the Mtn View setup.

see more at my blog

Kimo Crossman on May 22, 2006 3:40 AM
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Also on this Wavion deal:

It does not solve the Muni indoor WiFi issue nor does the url for the company website work.

Kimo Crossman on May 22, 2006 3:42 AM
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Thanks Kimo! URL works now. Have corrected SF reference too.

Matt Marshall on May 22, 2006 5:23 AM
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Tropos widely announced a contract that they signed with EarthLink months ago that gives them the first five cities that EarthLink unwires. Likewise, Motorola Canopy will be used in those five cities. There may be performance clauses or other outs (like five cities within a period of time) that I don't know about.

Further, it would be very odd for a startups first products to be used for a deployment of the scale of San Francisco. The reason Tropos, BelAir, Strix, and SkyPilot have had such traction in this form of metro-scale rollout is that while still all startups, they now have years under their belt and real deployments.

There are real questions about whether what they're doing scales and works as predicted, but that's separate from whether a company like EarthLink would install Wavion or Go Networks (similar MIMO approach) gear rather than an existing provider of this kind of equipment.

Glenn Fleishman on May 22, 2006 3:56 PM
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