New Mesh Broadband Network Underway In BOP

Published: Tue 18 Dec 2007 05:26 PM
New Mesh Broadband Network Underway In BOP
New MESH Broadband Network underway in Bay of Plenty is a first for New Zealand
Tauranga internet service provider EOL has launched a unique *MESH wireless communication network - the first in New Zealand.The multi-million dollar Strata network is based on the most advanced products from 10 of the world's leading wireless broadband, and internet security suppliers. These have been meldedtogether to produce a 'super-MESH.'
Local wireless pioneer EOL says that Strata will initially cover an area of 150 square kilometres,but within one year, it will provide one seamless regional network - covering an area of 700 sqkms.Managing Director Terry Coles says Strata offers both urban and rural users the best in securefixed and roaming "triple play" communications - years ahead of the competition.
Away from their home or office, customers can connect to the network using any modern laptop, apersonal digital assistant (PDA), or Wi-Fi enabled mobile phone such as the Apple iPhone.Strata Carrier and Wi-Fi services are being made available to both urban and rural customers ina staged rollout that is well underway, he says.
The first area runs from Cameron Road in theTauranga central business district, to Barkes corner. Papamoa, Mount Maunganui, Bethlehemand Katikati will be next on line early 2008.
'Existing EOL residential customers won't need to buy new equipment, as their current radiounits are compatible with Strata,' says Terry Coles. 'However all EOL's business customers willbe contacted about what upgrades they'll require prior to the rollout in their area. EOL will be releasing in coming weeks, details of special offers that will give people the chance to try out Strata.
What is MESH?
EOL was the first New Zealand company to carry out a major trial of the MESH mobile broadband technology, that´s used in a number of cities in the United States. The wireless network is based on "nodes" or repeaters - that are easily attached to city power poles or buildings. A repeater unit is simply plugged in and powers up automatically, to integrate itself into the network.
The repeaters, which don´t need line of sight, provide city-wide communication services to users armed with anything from a laptop to a personal digital assistant (PDA), or a meshenabled mobile phone, such as the Apple iPhone. A user can access and surf the Net at healthy speeds of over 1.5 mbps for roaming users right up to 11 mbps (or more) for business users.
'The way people are connected, it´s a bit like making a whole city into one giant Wi-Fi hotspot, 'says Terry Coles - we call it a city-wide hot-zone. The Strata network, once complete, will involve over 300 nodes or repeaters installed over 700 square kilometres of the Western Bay. 'The strange cylindrical objects appearing on rooftops may look a little like homing beacons for UFO's, but they're simply the MESH nodes or gateways.' Strata is the very latest in MESH technology, a true 'carrier grade' network , a 4th generation (4G) system capable of surviving most of the man-made and natural events that cause other wireless and land line communications to fail.
'Its multi-layered and multipath nature ensures it is always available, self-healing and rerouting automatically around interference and blackouts - to give unrivalled network speed and reliability (99.999% uptime). It means Strata is ideal as a public safety network,' says Terry Coles.
Security and Accessibility
Strata is engineered to provide the highest level of network and wireless security. The system uses the latest in industrial-strength encryption technology on every wireless link. Using the carrier subscriber device, customers can connect directly to the Strata high security MESH core network.
Secure Wi-Fi access to Strata is also available. Unlike standard Wi-Fi which uses low level security, EOL selected the world's first carrier grade MESH Wi-Fi, which was developed in Israel using military-grade security.
Customers within 1km of the Strata MESH will be able to connect using any modern laptop, PDA or Cell that supports Wi-Fi.
For those who want an increase in speed, an EOL internal subscriber unit can be used. The system provides for roaming between any Strata MESH zone in the region. Miniature external, self-install radio kits with a range of 10km are also available for distant or rural users.
Connecting to Strata MESH
Strata Carrier and Wi-Fi services are available to urban and rural customers. Anyone who wants to connect - or receive more information on Strata - should contact EOL.
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