Motorola Moves into Mesh Networking

In a move aimed at boosting its broadband networking, mobile giant Motorola has announced it’s purchasing US-based equipment supplier MeshNetworks.

Acquiring the wireless mesh networking company “brings sales, support and brand recognition that a startup could never match in a million years,” says Rick Rotondo, vice president of marketing for the Maitland, Fla-based company. (We suspect he was exaggerating for effect – commonly called hyperbole).

The purchase by Motorola further legitimises the whole mesh networking concept. Only last month, North American rival Nortel announced its mesh networking product line, aimed at providing easier WiFi coverage without the need for multiple access points. In the UK, LocustWorld has been selling its Mesh AP boxes to hotels, hospitality venues and rural community broadband service providers with a great deal of success.vMesh networking provides an innovative method to build complex data networks very easily. Using the intelligence of each component, meshing helps them to join into a self-organising structure. This approach differs from the traditional “top-down” design of data networks, and provides many benefits, including flexibility, speed and ease of management, making it simply to deploy widespread networks with low overheads. It’s particularly suited to wireless networks, where the connections can’t be predicted in the same way as a wired network, catering for mobile nodes, instant growth and unpredictable variations in reception and coverage.

Mesh networking builds up a wide spread multi-hop network, making connections between neighbouring nodes on demand. Once connected the nodes can explore the network and establish their routes through it, finding the resources that they need automatically.

“The acquisition also represents another step in Motorola’s commitment to deliver seamless mobility to all of our customers,” said Greg Brown, president of Motorola’s CGISS. The purchase will benefit “all of our businesses ranging from mission critical and enterprise markets to automotive and home entertainment applications,” said Brown.
SP Comment: Mesh networks are far from a new idea. Groups such as London-based have been enthusiastic about the possibilities of a wireless mesh for a long time. For over three years they have seen the possibilities of a wireless mesh supplimenting the wired networks offering free, ubiquitous access and when combined with VoIP, replacing traditional phone services. When viewed in these terms, it is incredible how long big business takes to catchup with grass roots ideas.