Wavion Launches Company; Introduces New Category of Metro WI-FI Access Point
5/22/2006

MIMO-Based Spatially Adaptive Access Point Quadruples Coverage and Capacity of Current Metro Wi-Fi; Cuts Costs by Half and Vastly Improves User Experience.

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Wavion, a new provider of metro Wi-Fi access points (APs) and technology for service providers and infrastructure equipment vendors, today introduced a new category of wireless AP. Wavion's spatially adaptive access point is the first MIMO-based metro-scale AP, which resolves the performance, penetration and profitability challenges facing today’s metro Wi-Fi deployments.

Backed by more than $22 million in funding from blue-chip investors such as Sequoia Capital and Elron Electronics Industries (NASDAQ: ELRN), Wavion is transforming the metro Wi-Fi market. Wavion delivers significantly improved user experiences through stronger connections at higher speeds, and better coverage with minimal dead spots. One spatially adaptive AP from Wavion does the work of three to four conventional APs, reducing service providers’ capital and operating expenditures by 50 percent. Demonstrations and early access to the product for both infrastructure equipment vendors and service providers are available now in Silicon Valley.

The introduction of Wavion’s spatially adaptive access point represents tremendous opportunities for everyone in the metro Wi-Fi market, said Shmil Levy, a Sequoia partner and Wavion board member. We are already seeing performance and coverage issues in metro Wi-Fi deployments based on current technology. Wavion's new spatially adaptive AP gives service providers and equipment vendors the ability to create successful metro Wi-Fi networks that are not only profitable, but scale to accommodate future market demands and applications.

First-generation metro Wi-Fi installations require dense deployments of conventional access points because their range, coverage and capacity are limited. Multi-hop mesh technology proposes to reduce the cost of these dense deployments by limiting the number of costly backhaul sites. Unfortunately, these mesh networks suffer from dramatic decreases in capacity as the number of hops increase. Because the APs in mesh networks use commoditized silicon originally designed for indoor deployments, the potential for improvement is limited. Demanding outdoor environments require custom-designed ASICs to meet the specific demands of metro-scale Wi-Fi.

Metro-scale Wi-Fi deployments are about to face the same increased demands for throughput and reliability as we’ve seen in other WLAN applications, both residential and enterprise, said Craig Mathias, a principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group (Ashland, MA). “Wavion’s use of MIMO technology with beamforming and space-division multiple-access (SDMA) will become a compelling approach to dealing with these requirements, with the additional benefits of improved price and performance.”

Metro Wi-Fi is an enormous opportunity for service providers, but deployments require new technology to deliver the capacity that supports multiple applications and a growing subscriber base, said Ran Eisenberg, Wavion’s CEO. We created a completely new category of wireless AP, designed from the ground up for outdoor Wi-Fi deployments.

Wavion's spatially adaptive AP delivers three key benefits:

  • Performance: Wavion's technology enables better coverage, higher bandwidth for mobile applications, scalable voice, and more reliable public safety applications. Applied to mesh networks, this technology also enables higher performance backhaul and fewer hops between nodes.
  • Penetration: Buildings, walls, radio interference, blocked line-of-sight, and other metro realities are better mitigated by Wavion's spatially adaptive AP because of significantly higher link gain and better multipath exploitation offered with its digital beamforming.
  • Profitability: A single Wavion spatially adaptive AP quadruples the coverage and capacity of current metro Wi-Fi technology, which reduces capital expenses of typical deployments by 50 percent and operating expenses by more than 50 percent. Moreover, providers can reduce their need to sell and support customer premises equipment.

Rather than use commoditized chipsets with single radio and diversity antennas, Wavion custom designed ASICs and embedded software to optimally leverage six antennas and six radio transceivers in a single AP. Wavion is the first company to successfully harness the power of MIMO, digital beamforming and SDMA technologies for standards-based metro Wi-Fi deployments.

Beamforming and SDMA are the ideal technologies for the outdoor wireless environment. They also leverage the millions of existing Wi-Fi clients already in use around the world,” said Dr. Mati Wax, Wavion’s founder and CTO and one of the industry’s early pioneers in multiple-antenna technology. The key to making these technologies practical is a design tailored to the specific challenges of the outdoor environment, enabled by very tight integration at the silicon layer with the modem and the embedded software.

Interested parties can see a preview of Wavion's product at the upcoming Globalcomm 2006 conference and exhibition (booth #66074), taking place in Chicago June 5-8.

About Wavion
Wavion is delivering a new category of spatially adaptive access point to service providers and equipment vendors. The company’s new generation of Wi-Fi technology is the first and only to resolve the significant performance, penetration and profitability challenges facing metro Wi-Fi deployments. Wavion is privately held and backed by world-class investors including Sequoia Capital, Tel Aviv-based Elron Electronic Industries Ltd., Star Ventures, and BRM Capital. Wavion has offices in Silicon Valley and Yoqneam, Israel. To learn more, please visit Wavion at http://www.wavion.net.

Media Contacts:
Alan Menezes
Wavion, Inc.
408.261.7000
alanm@wavion.net

Kawika Holbrook
Sterling Communications, Inc.
408.395.5500
kawika@sterlingpr.com




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