In a number of municipal Wi-Fi deployments, users have reported disappointment that the coverage is actually quite spotty, with lots of dead spots, very weak coverage inside, and plenty of dropped connections.
New technology from Wavion could boost muni Wi-Fi's power and coverage, eWeek reports.
The new Wi-Fi tech is a spatially adaptive, beam forming Wi-Fi access point, uses the ability to direct RF (radio frequency) energy on a packet by packet basis to double the range of standard Wi-Fi, penetrate buildings and foliage, and eliminate interference.
Because each access point is that much better, the overall cost of deploying a network is actually cut in half, according to a company official.
According to Wavion marketing VP Alan Menezes, the technology "eliminates dead spots and provides uniform coverage. .... It's a better ROI," he said. "You need one-third the number of access points, so it's about half the deployment cost per square mile."
Conxx Inc, which provides municipal wireless service in Maryland, found the Wavion unit superior to other Wi-Fi units. "We concluded from an RF standpoint, all Wi-Fi was the same," said Jeff Blank, CTO for Conxx, Inc. in Cumberland, Md., who tested the unit in the field "until we saw the Wavion unit. It had better throughput and coverage."
Conxx will use Wavion's technology for its service in Allegany County, Maryland, the only announced installation.