26 janeiro 2006

Redes WiFi Mesh, custos e concorrentes

O Blog The Corporate Rat and The Elusive Cheese apresentou um relatório interessante sobre a tecnologia sendo usada para cobrir cidades ao redor do mundo com redes sem fio mesh, onde os "access points" ficam transmitindo os dados de "access point" para "access point" até atingir a sua casa.

A tecnologia é inovadora e várias empresas estão oferecendo soluções. Tropos é a precursora, e por isso possui a maior base instalada:
The simple answer is timing. Today, Tropos is deployed at over 300 sites successfully. Cisco has seen this success and has put their entire weight behind their own version of mesh-networking. Unlike Nortel, which chose to deploy OSPF as a routing protocol between access points, Cisco has developed its own ‘secret sauce routing protocol’ just as Tropos had done years ago. Today, Tropos is clearly 2 years ahead of the game. Whether Cisco or others can catch or not is another question. The point to consumers is that competition is healthy. Bigwigs such as Cisco will channel in millions of dollars in this space perfecting the technology while smaller fish like Tropos will continue to innovate to stay a leader. Net-Net: consumer profits irrespective of which company wins.
Os preços para instalação deste tipo de equipamentos não são altos, pois são baseados em tecnologia já comoditizada:
The cost for this technology is just about right as well. As an
example, to unwire Mountain view, Google’s install cost for 400 nodes
is $1,000,000 (approx) and a recurring cost of $17,000 pa (ref: here )
Um ponto interessante dos produtos oferecidos para implementação de redes Meshs é a discussão sobre o uso de redes sem fio sobreposta com um segundo rádio para o roteamento dos dados (soluções da Nortel e Cisco) ou o uso do mesmo rádio para o roteamento e acesso ao destino (soluções da Tropos).

Um teste prático feito pela Universidade de Tsinghua chegou a seguinte conclusão:
In summary, what he found was that as the number of hops increases
(acess point – access point transfers) the Tropos thoughput fall-off
was at 1/n while Nortel throughput decreased at (1/2)^n
. Quite contrary to the theoretical assumptions of the double advantage
of double radio, eh ? The reason? An efficient routing protocol affects
throughput rates in a more significant way than adding another radio

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