Firetide introduces public safety tri-band mesh and access infrastructure

2.4, 4.9, 5 GHz capability across entire product line delivers unprecedented flexibility and control to public safety, commercial security and municipal users

Los Gatos, Calif., April 2, 2008 – Firetide Inc., a leading developer of wireless mesh and access networks, today announced tri-band (2.4, 4.9, 5 GHz) capability on its HotPoint access points and HotClient client premises equipment (CPE) to augment the tri-band functionality of its HotPort mesh nodes. The combination of user-controlled spectra, indoor and outdoor configurations, unparalleled backhaul performance of up to 70 Mbps, and end-to-end management provides Firetide customers with unprecedented flexibility for public safety, commercial security, municipal and industrial deployments.

"The option of using licensed or unlicensed bands in mesh and access networks allows public safety agencies to choose the band that best fits a particular area to maximize coverage or reduce interference," said Detective Chris Jensen, Drug Enforcement Bureau, Phoenix Police Department. "The ability to shut down public Wi-Fi access or other non-essential communications in case of a major incident or other emergency, and redirect all bandwidth to mission critical communications, gives us peace of mind if we are asked to share our wireless infrastructure."

Wireless video surveillance over the licensed 4.9 GHz public safety band is growing exponentially in the U.S., with significant deployments in Chicago, Dallas, Boston, Phoenix, and West Palm Beach, Fla., among others. Most public safety agencies in the U.S. already own a 4.9 GHz license and plan to use it for access. Wi-Fi access allows patrolling officers to tap into the video surveillance network to monitor live video feeds as they respond to incidents.

"The tri-band capabilities added to Firetide's already extensive portfolio of wireless networking equipment will greatly enhance the functionality and expand the market for its wireless mesh and access networks," said Berge Ayvazian, chief strategy officer, Yankee Group. "This announcement will also significantly increase the synergy between among public safety, video surveillance and open public access networks being implemented in the U.S. and internationally."

Wireless access deployments in a public safety setting enable high-bandwidth communications, such as 20 Mbps wireless offload of recorded in-car video over a secure connection, alleviating the need to manually plug and unplug digital video recorders during patrol shift changes. In contrast, a cellular data adapter delivers a maximum of 1 Mbps throughput.

The benefits of the new tri-band functionality extend to industrial and commercial security customers as well, as they now have the flexibility to select between 2.4 and 5 GHz access for optimal network performance. Firetide's end-to-end management and control allow network managers to provide varied levels of service by type of traffic – video, VoIP or data – and by type of client device – video camera, laptop or access control system. Firetide also delivers enterprise-class access functionality, bringing network security, management and scalability – previously only available in indoor deployments – to outdoor public safety settings. These advanced features include client authentication and accounting, multiple virtual access points, load balancing, VLAN tagging, and rogue device detection.

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