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Why organizations should consider private wireless mesh infrastructure and access network solutions

Firetide provides the highest performance fixed and mobile wireless IP network infrastructure products that enable concurrent video, voice and data applications for government, transportation, education and commercial customers . The company’s products are used to build private wireless mesh infrastructure and access networks for indoor and outdoor use that are highly reliable and secure. Founded in 2003, Firetide is based in Los Gatos, California, with operations throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions. Firetide has an installed base of thousands of customers in 40 countries around the world.

In the following interview, Pramod Akkarachittor, Director Product Management at Firetide, discusses 1:1 with Rake Narang, Editor-in-Chief of Network Products Guide, why organizations should consider private wireless mesh infrastructure and access network solutions.

Rake Narang: How does U.S. stack up to the rest of the world when it comes to adoption of wireless?

Pramod Akkarachittor: Adoption of wireless is driven by few factors – increased confidence in wireless technology, increase in applications that demand wireless connectivity and increased pressure to drive down network CAPEX and OPEX. In the U.S., wireless penetration stands about 10% amongst all the infrastructure projects. This, although, higher than Western Europe is still not as high as some countries in Asia such as South Korea. Having said that, we do see increasing adoption rates in the U.S as tier 2 and tier 3 cities are low on funds and realize that the TCO with wireless is much lower than with fiber. The adoption has also increased because of applications such as real-time mobile connectivity in the transportation industry – rail, highways and metros. These applications can be enabled only using a reliable wireless connectivity. In addition, the customer confidence in the viability of wireless as a reliable and secure solution is increasing. This is because there are several large city-wide wireless infrastructure reference projects and also because there is an increase in the number of wireless system integrators.

Rake Narang: Why should organizations consider Firetide’s private wireless mesh infrastructure and access network solutions?

Pramod Akkarachittor: Firetide has built a reputation as a leader in providing a reliable and secure wireless mesh infrastructure uniquely capable of meeting the demanding performance requirements of real-time video applications. While our mesh products are an excellent solution for environments where video surveillance is required, the mesh infrastructure is a foundation for additional network-based applications. This single infrastructure is used to support multiple applications simultaneously for homeland security and public safety; transportation; municipal services; and industrial applications. 

Firetide launched its wireless access products in 2011 leveraging its wireless infrastructure technology knowledge and expertise to create a solution that is extremely high performance and provides excellent total cost of ownership vs competitors. Target markets include those where reliable high-performance Wi-Fi access is needed such as schools and libraries, Wi-Fi hot zones, and industrial markets.

Rake Narang: How secure are your private wireless networks compared to others?

Pramod Akkarachittor: Firetide has a unique distributed Ethernet switch based mesh infrastructure solution. The infrastructure mesh solution provides transparent layer 2 network connectivity over wireless to end devices. We implement an encapsulation and a strong end-to-end AES 256 bit encryption. This enables data transport over multiple hops on the mesh without any need to decrypt at the intermediate repeater mesh nodes. Other vendors require the data to get decrypted and re-encrypted as data travels over multiple hops. This creates a security risk as well as a decrease in performance of the overall network. With Firetide’s encapsulation and encryption scheme we are able to maintain the integrity of the data end to end without compromising on the performance.

Company: Firetide
140 Knowles Drive
Los Gatos, CA 95032 U.S.A.

Founded in: 2003
CEO: Bo Larsson
Public or Private: Private
Products and Services:

Wireless Infrastructure: Firetide has built a reputation as a leader in providing a reliable and secure wireless mesh infrastructure uniquely capable of meeting the demanding performance requirements of real-time video applications. While our mesh products are an excellent solution for environments where video surveillance is required, the mesh infrastructure is a foundation for additional network-based applications. This single infrastructure is used to support multiple applications simultaneously for homeland security and public safety; transportation; municipal services; and industrial applications.

Wireless Access: Firetide launched its wireless access products in 2011 leveraging its wireless infrastructure technology knowledge and expertise to create a solution that is extremely high performance and provides excellent total cost of ownership vs competitors. Target markets include those where reliable high-performance Wi-Fi access is needed such as schools and libraries, Wi-Fi hot zones, and industrial.

Network Management software provides powerful centralized management and control with full FCAPS support and a web-based user interface.

Professional Services includes a complete set of offerings that ensure deployment of reliable, secure and efficient end-to-end wireless networks for customers, including: network planning, design, project management, deployment, and training.

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