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Products - 802.11b

Project Motivation:

India has optical fibre reaching fairly deep into the rural areas. There is a fibre point of presence every 10-25 Km in about 85% villages in India and a village is found almost every 3-4Km in each direction. Today, the communication systems used consist of wireless exchange/base station at a fibre hub, serving about 300 villages in the neighborhood. The alternative is to use 802.11 based Ad-hoc mesh network providing multi-hop connections from each village to the fibre point. This Ad-hoc wireless connection would require links of 3-5Km lengths, to connect the neighboring villages. And each village will typically connect to 3-4 neighboring villages, forming a mesh. The data may have to travel 2-4 hops before it reaches the fibre point. Network topology of such a mesh network is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Network topology of 802.11 based Ad-hoc Mesh Networks

The designed stand-alone Multiport Wireless Access System (MWAS) shall be localised in each of the village node to rout packets in all the directions. The Ethernet port may connect to the fibre backbone or any of the Internet kiosks in the villages. Directional antennas connected to each of the WLAN cards provide the 120o sectorial coverage in each direction. Figure2 shows the Blackfin based Stand-Alone MWAS. A collection of such stand-alone MWAS in each of the villages effectively forms a mesh network.

The key advantage in this approach is that it should be possible to bring in much higher bandwidth (bit-rate) to each village. The challenge here is to integrate services and platforms to work toward affordable, easy-to-use gateways that funnel into the premises of the people living far away from the optical fibre backbone infrastructure. The project focuses on fundamental technologies needed to implement self-configuring wireless multi-hop networks for rural peer-to-peer communities.

Multiport Wireless Access System - MWAS
Gateway to Wireless Revolution

The MWAS is a revolutionary 802.11b Wireless Router that delivers a peak rate of 11Mbps to provide excellent and consistent data throughput for rural long haul networks. The MWAS is suitable for composite deployments that can handle longhaul multihop traffic as well as local Internet traffic within a village/cell. The unique feature of this router is the provision of three WLAN interfaces with dual antenna ports which can operate on three non-overlapping bands to provide, not only, seamless longhaul coverage but is also more conducive for mesh topologies than the legacy WLAN routers.

Figure 2: Blackfin based Low Cost Stand-Alone MWAS

This 802.11b solution is fully interoperable and compatible with all 2.4GHz WLAN devices, capable of creating one homogenous network environment for the multi-vendor environment. The MWAS can be used in a wide variety of applications. It can be used in point to point longhaul networks for backhaul connectivity as well as point to multipoint networks for WLAN client access.

MWAS router performs advanced routing functions and is built around high performing DSP Blackfin Processor providing excellent processing power for wire speed packet forwarding, and other advance routing and management functions. The MWAS router connects the customer's line to the ISP link to Internet backbone. SNMP in MWAS allows full remote management and configuration, enabling service providers to remotely configure and monitor all parameters of the router.

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