On the heels of its 1,500 square mile Silicon Valley win to create largest outdoor U.S. wireless network. Cisco today announced that eight additional North American cities have selected Cisco's outdoor wireless mesh solution as the foundation to their municipal wireless networks. The city of Fredericton, New Brunswick; Gilroy, Calif.; Greensboro, N.C.; Kitchener, Ontario; Santa Rosa, Calif.; Upper Merion Township, Pa., Waterloo, Ontario, and Winston-Salem, N.C. are all moving forward with citywide, outdoor wireless deployments powered by Cisco.
These deployments are indicative of the fast-growing market for outdoor wireless services and support Infonetics' research that estimates a five-year compound annual growth rate of 105 percent for mesh networking worldwide by 2009.
"The possibilities of citywide wireless mesh networking are nearly limitless," said Stu Wilson, vice president at Atria Networks. "By integrating Cisco's wired and wireless solutions as part of a citywide network, Atria Networks is able to help cities improve efficiencies, reduce operational costs, and help bridge digital divides."
Atria Networks, a service provider based in Canada that recently deployed wireless mesh in regions around Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph, Ontario, has experienced a substantial uptake in its subscriber base as part of the numerous benefits that outdoor wireless brings to cities, their businesses and residents.
Outdoor Wireless Mesh Market Dynamics
As common usage models have become more prevalent, large and small cities alike recognize the numerous benefits of municipal wireless networking.
In many municipal deployments, a primary application is to deliver city services that help to enable workers, such as emergency first responders, to connect remotely from field locations. This allows fire fighters, police officers and EMT personnel to improve response times by quickly connecting to the city network from various locations.
Cities can also reduce operational costs by using their municipal networks to increase efficiencies. "With mobile tools and field reporting using wireless, this will be a big step in the evolution of efficiency," said Tom Oliver, information service manager for the city of Lebanon, Oregon. "If a public works maintenance crew needs to fix a shut off valve, they can see in real time where it is below the ground. With aerial photos and line work, such as pipes, there is a lot of visual material that requires the bandwidth that the mesh network can provide."
Another application that is fueling citywide wireless deployments is digital inclusion -- the concept of creating a network that ensures constituents have access to Internet applications regardless of social or economic status. Working with OneCommunity, a nonprofit organization, the city of Cleveland has strengthened its communities by linking residents to their local wireless network. This network gives residents access to health, safety and job information, as well as other city information sources.
"Just as wireless grew from the home to the enterprise, we now see cities adopting municipal service networks by utilizing Wi-Fi technology," said Alan S. Cohen, senior director, Mobility Solutions at Cisco Systems. "Because these networks are standards-based, it appeals to the largest majority of users and applications. 802.11-based outdoor networks provide a platform for today's needs and tomorrow's endeavors."
Cisco ServiceMesh Sparks Outdoor Wireless Adoption
Transforming communities with outdoor wireless goes far beyond providing wireless Internet access. Cities are consistently moving away from purchasing and running municipal Wi-Fi networks, opting instead to outsource network management and operation to wireless and wireline service providers. To address this trend, Cisco offers Cisco ServiceMesh, an integrated solution for enabling service providers to deliver outdoor wireless as a managed service. Service providers including Atria Networks, Cellnet, DHB Networks and MetroConnect are leading examples of service provider deployments of Cisco ServiceMesh within local municipalities.
With Cisco as a technology partner, municipalities gain the ability to use low-cost 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g technologies for high-speed, ubiquitous access, single security and management framework from client to the network core. Municipalities also gain the flexibility to easily add multiple applications to the network without needing to integrate many different software and hardware products. Centralized network management of APs reduces operational expenses and allows cities to reduce the time to market of their wireless services. RF management expertise from the worldwide leader in wireless enterprise networks helps smooth out the wireless environment and improve reliability of the network.
Complementary to Cisco's Unified Wireless Network, Cisco outdoor wireless solutions allow local government, public safety, and transit agencies to extend their existing wired network-oriented services and applications beyond their current physical infrastructures, offering innovative new ways to accelerate communications and service delivery to both employees and citizens.
More information about Cisco's outdoor wireless mesh solutions can be found at: www.cisco.com/go/wirelessmesh