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Network / IP - News

Sunrise Wireless chooses Proxim Wireless equipment to unwire the San Francisco Bay

Published on 1 June, 2010
The network currently provides broadband Internet connectivity and in the near future will provide wireless VoIP
The wireless network coverage area stretches from the Bay Bridge to the San Rafael Bridge

Proxim Wireless Corporation, a leading provider of complete indoor and outdoor wireless broadband ecosystems, recently announced that Sunrise Wireless, a pioneer in the development of wireless broadband systems for the maritime industry, has selected Proxim Wireless' equipment to unwire the San Francisco Bay. Sunrise Wireless has deployed a system that uses a combination of Proxim's point-to-point wireless backhaul, license-free WiMAX, and Wi-Fi(R) products for an end-to-end broadband wireless network that enables wireless connectivity for vessels throughout 62 square miles of the Bay.

The system, called SFOWetNet is designed to service all users of the Bay -- from the researcher in a small boat collecting marine samples to the commuter traveling to work at 40 mph in the comfort of a high speed ferry. SFOWetNet consists of two networks that share a common backhaul and whose over-the-water segments overlay one another. One network is designed to serve commercial vessels, and the second provides Wi-Fi access for recreational boaters throughout the central and western portions of San Francisco Bay. These two networks include: --

WiMAX for commercial vessels -- "SFOWetNet-comml" provides high-performance, unlicensed WiMAX connectivity to enable reliable connectivity for commercial vessels, including ferries, tugboats, tankers, cargo and dinner cruise vessels as well as public safety vessels such as police, fire and search and rescue boats. The network currently provides broadband Internet connectivity and in the near future will provide wireless VoIP and wireless real-time streaming video for the delivery of news and entertainment directly to vessels on the move. -

WiFi for the recreational boater -- "SFOWetNet-marine" provides Wi-Fi connectivity for all recreational vessels, enabling all boats to receive Wi-Fi access via an hourly, daily or monthly subscription. A laptop is all that is needed to enjoy Wi-Fi service up to half a mile from shore, and longer distances are possible with the use of a range-extender.

The wireless network coverage area stretches from the Bay Bridge to the San Rafael Bridge, as well as from Alcatraz/Angel Island all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge.

"We have utilised Proxim's end-to-end wireless systems for maritime deployments in the past -- including our deployment with the Washington State Ferry (WSF) system -- and I believe the Proxim solution is the best for marine broadband networks," said Milton Gregory, President of Sunrise Wireless. "Not only does the system just work, but Proxim is the only place I can get a complete Wi-Fi, WiMAX and point-to-point wireless backhaul solution in one place. Proxim has the tools needed to enable high speed roaming applications combined with the ability to provide high-bandwidth wireless connectivity over water, which is an exceptionally demanding RF environment. No other technology is as cost effective for this application."

In order to cover the San Francisco Bay with wireless connectivity, Sunrise Wireless utilises the following Proxim Wireless products: --

Proxim Tsunami(TM) MP.11 5054R and 5054R-LR -- The Tsunami MP.11 5054R-LR base stations and subscriber units provide license-free WiMAX connectivity from commercial vessels all the way to the shore from within the 62 square mile coverage area. -

Proxim ORiNOCO(R) AP-4000 MR-LR -- The ORiNOCO AP-4000s provide long-range Wi-Fi coverage from the shore to about half a mile into the water for laptop users and further for those using a range extender, enabling recreational boats to connect via Wi-Fi. -- Proxim Tsunami(R).GX -- The Tsunami.GX radios provide the wireless backhaul from the WiMAX and Wi-Fi radios back to the network data center in south San Francisco. All in all, there are 40 miles of wireless backhaul involved.

So Much more than just Wireless Access in addition to wireless Internet connectivity, Proxim's wireless network will soon enable commercial vessels to utilise wireless VoIP no matter where they are in the Bay -- which is advantageous in many parts of the Bay that have poor cell phone reception. In addition, Proxim's WiMAX network provides enough bandwidth to stream video to these vessels, enabling ferries to stream real-time news, sports and financial video to passengers, stream video surveillance back to the shore, and more. Commercial vessels require a Proxim device that can be easily installed onboard (a "subscriber unit") to connect to the unlicensed WiMAX network. Once installed, commercial vessels can receive 12 to 36 Mbps wireless connection throughout the Bay.

Recreational vessels do not require any additional equipment to access the Wi-Fi network other than their Wi-Fi enabled laptop or smartphone. Once in range of the SFOWetNet Wi-Fi network, users can connect to the network, open their browsers, then log on via a secure sign-on page (similar to logging in at coffee shops or other hotspots). "Sunrise Wireless has always been an exciting partner, because they specialise in creating wireless networks in one of the most difficult environments -- over water," said Robb Henshaw, Senior Director of Global Marketing & Communications for Proxim Wireless. "At Proxim, we know that people want wireless connectivity wherever they are. Together with Sunrise Wireless, we look forward to continually enabling people to connect in more and more locations."

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