Las Vegas becomes latest mesh network adopter

Las Vegas is set to flip the switch on a wireless broadband pilot based on mesh networking technology from MeshNetworks Inc. of Maitland, Fla.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The city's Traffic Engineering Department and Nevada's Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation group are joining in the trial to test wireless mesh technology for traffic management applications.

Other agencies, including public safety and code enforcement agencies, also will have access to the network, which initially will cover only the downtown area. At the end of the pilot, Las Vegas will have option to expand the network to cover the city's entire 58 square miles.

Las Vegas integrator Cheetah Wireless Technologies Inc. did the installation.

"The deployment was very simple and the equipment installed is low-profile and non-intrusive," said Jorge Cervantes, assistant traffic engineer for Las Vegas. "We are hopeful that a wireless mesh network ? could be a cost-effective way for the city of Las Vegas to provide a more efficient system to serve its citizenry."

The network is based on the MeshNetworks Enabled Architecture, which is an ad hoc, self-forming wireless architecture that can improve coverage and ensure the network continuity. In a mesh network, access points and wireless devices act as routers and repeaters that can direct network traffic and maintain signal strength. Mesh networks can automatically route data around congestion, failures and line-of-sight obstacles.

The technology, which was developed for the Defense Department, is capable of symmetric upstream and downstream data rates of up to 1.5 Mbps

This year, MeshNetworks technology has been deployed in several other cities, including Cocoa Beach, Fla.; Garland, Texas; and Medford, Ore.

"Las Vegas, like many other forward-thinking cities, has discovered the benefits and cost savings that a MeshNetworks Enabled Architecture mobile broadband network can deliver," said Paul Mueller, vice president of sales at MeshNetworks.

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