Triad Wireless and Cielo Systems Launch Next Generation Muni Wireless Model – S.P.I.R.I.T.

Municipal wirelesss networks have gotten a bad reputation over the last few years due to difficult deployments, under-engineering, over-promised expectations, high-capital expenditure, and high-profile failures.  The reality is that most mesh vendors have abandoned the original utopian idea of wireless everywhere. In fact, due to limited technology designs, they are now re-branding themselves as low-bandwidth ubiquitous coverage equipment for Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and Power System data backhaul.  However, many cities are still looking at the dream that was once Municipal Wireless as a solution for not only city services, but something that can break the infamous digital divide.  The Secured Public Integrated Radio Infrastructure Technology (S.P.I.R.I.T.) design does just that.

Triad Wireless and Cielo Systems partnered their technical expertise to re-engineer the entire concept of municipal wireless from the ground up.   The goals for the system were defined as the following:

(1) 10-20+ number of hops with minimal bandwidth loss or a significant increase in latency

(2) A minimum of 100Mbps of backhaul capacity available at every AP node in the system

(3) Maximum distance per AP to laptop users at lower power levels including improved obstruction penetration

(4) Reduced APs per square mile

(5) fast-handoff capability for vehicles at 100mph+

(6) Full backhaul redundancy for all APs

(7) Load-balancing for all APs

(8) Ability to penetrate vegetation at street level to avoid installing additional 2.4GHz APs just for backhaul

(9) Reduction of capital expenditure by a factor of 2-5 times over standard mesh technologies

(10) Maximum Security for public uses and public safety users alike

(11) Elimination of technology obsolescence with component level upgrades

Since none of the mesh vendors had the combination of technologies needed to achieve the goals set by Triad Wireless and Cielo Systems, the first move was the elimination of proprietary mesh technologies.  Municipalities can now use any AP on the market in this design.  That reduces the cost significantly and/or allows a city to work with whatever favorite AP product they have or a recommended system that fits specific budget/performance goals.

The second goal was to modify the network so that network administrators didn’t have to learn new technologies to deploy or support it.  This makes any network administrator immediately comfortable with the model versus starting over with new equipment.  Other than the addition of simple Point-to-Point radios, the entire system is based around a model of standard networking protocols.

As Mike Goicoechea, VP of Operations from Cielo Systems stated, “When we proposed the system, the idea was to break the mold and exceed everyone’s expectations.  When the numbers are analyzed, municipalities will see this is a very cost effective alternative to fiber for cities with budget issues that doesn’t compromise performance”.

Rory Conaway, CEO of Triad Wireless and lead engineer on the project added, “Having the network engineering experience from Cielo Systems to draw upon helped me bring together many of the ideas I’ve been developing over the years.  We can now build a successful model that can directly compete against wire line services in a suburban environment and bring the latest wireless technologies to bear in one system”.

The end result of this collaboration is a new era for Municipal Wireless.  The S.P.I.R.I.T. system is a no-compromise model that achieves the dream original promised by vendors and integrators alike for the last 10 years.  It’s capable of bringing a municipality deep into the 21st Century by taking back local-loop monopolies and expanding capabilities, choice, and capacity that isn’t hindered by any single manufactured product.  It also doesn’t make a city beholden to technology that becomes obsolete and is too expensive to upgrade or maintain.  It also gives public safety and government the most advanced data communication infrastructure in the industry today.  Municipalities now have a no-compromise option to take their cities and towns to the next level.

(Above is the text of the press release sent to us by Triad Wireless.)