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Case Study
Country-Wide WiFi Mesh Network

Internationally the application for wireless mesh networks has taken off. There is a real need to provide Internet and other network services at speeds greater than 128 or 256k.

Service providers, entreprenuers/investors and governments are testing and implementing wireess mesh networks worldwide and the audience is growing. Countries including Kenya, Africa, India, Greece, Finland, Belgium, UK and others have announced their deployments. Some larger than others. Some deploymens are hundeds of square-mile's and the largest mesh network deployments in the world, while others are more strategic and related to public safety, railway, surveillance, security and sensor technologies, corporate communications, military etc. Networks such as this are not just providing Internet or email access, but making use of high density data applications, voice communications and streaming video as well.

As these networks grow and users come online, thousands, if not millions, are being served and a multi-radio (three radios or more) technology is required to provide the performance and scability for such networks.

Strix Access/One mesh in countriesCapable of handling the challenges of mountainous terrain, deep basins, large valleys and dense folliage where most single- and dual-radio solutions fail to provide acceptable coverage and performance, not to mention real-time services like wireless VoIP (wVoIP), Strix wireless mesh network system dedicates radios for each separate function of the mesh (client access, backhaul ingress, and backhaul egress). By engaging the advanced algorithm characteristics and high performanc of Strix wireless system, integrators are able to eliminate many of the challenges commonly associated with other systems.

Strix’s Access/One solutions employ a unique modular, multi-radio, multi-channel, and multi-RF wireless mesh architecture that provides the high throughput and low latency needed to support wireless voice, video, and data applications today. This modular architecture is fully flexible and scalable, allowing a countries network to grow simply and affordably in the future. Strix architecture already provides mechanisms to support QoS, solving problems such as bandwidth degradation, network latency, and application priority contention. Because Strix networks operate at 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz unlicensed and 4.9 GHz licensed spectra on multiple channels of each spectra simultaneously, Strix can separate client access from the mesh backbone, enabling the system to dynamically optimize data paths, circumnavigate network congestion and interference, and adjust in real time to avoid network failure.

In one country what began as an attempt to get more computers into schools per requirement of the United Nations. The network is revolutionary, not simply because it is considered the largest hotspot in the world, but because of its impact on the economy and culture of the country it connects.

The project began three years ago, as part of USAID's e-Schools Project. Initially, 460 primary and secondary schools in the country were to receive a total of 5300 computers that had been. To accommodate the new computers, labs were built in each of the schools. Once the computers had arrived and the labs were built, however, the problem of getting online presented a daunting challenge.

While the original goal was only to deliver Internet connectivity to the schools would have been a failure in part due to the monopoly held by one provider. Basic Internet service was costing subscribers 120 euro per month. The answer was to start, not by building towers, but by changing the laws that governed the telecom business in the country.

Once the laws were changed it allowed competition in the country and Strix Systems was the wireless mesh network manufacture to win the project. The first phase of the project was installed and operational within four months and covered 95% of the country.

By may 2006, a survey was taken and found that Internet penetration rate went from 4% to 14% home use. Interestingly, all internet providers in the country increased business as the previously expensive internet services now became more cost effectively and in-line with what people could afford and with increased subscribers the current 10GB network access for the country is now not only more cost effective, but more importantly is enabling greater education resources and improving will continue to create more business opportunities.

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