Meraki releases 802.11n outdoor mesh product

Meraki has just released a 3-radio 802.11n outdoor mesh product, the MR58, that provides more capacity and speed than 802.11b/g wireless nodes. The list price: $1500. In one bold move, Meraki has dropped the cost of outdoor Wi-Fi mesh equipment to $500 per radio. Meraki is the only outdoor mesh equipment vendor with an 802.11n product. None of the other vendors (Cisco, BelAir, Tropos and Firetide) has one.

I spoke to Sanjit Biswas yesterday about Meraki’s new 802.11n device. He says that it will help Meraki’s customers, in particular, campuses and multi-unit dwellings in student neighborhoods, provide consistently high bandwidth to their demanding users. It is especially designed for areas where there are a lot of people using the network in a small packed space.

Although Sanjit talked mostly about indoor deployments, the MR58 is an excellent product for outdoor Wi-Fi networks, for example, one that covers large parts of the city. At the price point offered by Meraki, cities and service providers can deploy these networks less expensively than ever before, but with better performance. Indeed, Meraki’s new MR58 mesh nodes are being installed in Babylon, NY in various beaches and parks.

Ken Biba, founder of independent testing firm Novarum, recently wrote an article on Muniwireless, explaining the dramatic performance differences between Wi-Fi networks that run on 802.11n (which incorporates MIMO) and the previous generation of 802.11g equipment: 5x performance and 2x coverage improvement.

Read Ken’s article detailing Novarum’s findings (and join the debate in the comments section):

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