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Cable Vendors Explore Wi-Fi Metro Mesh

Scientific-Atlanta, which, along with Motorola is regarded as the cable industry�s vendor duopoly, is partnering with Tropos Networks to develop cable-specific equipment for Wi-Fi metro mesh networks.

The two companies will meld Tropos� MetroMesh Wi-Fi products with S-A�s hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) portfolio and create strand-mounted, coaxial-powered converters or wireless radios built specifically for cable networks. The mesh network will deliver wireless to end users and backhaul the data to fiber points of presence that then connect to the Internet, the companies said. The combined companies hope to bring metropolitan wireless connectivity, including limited wireless mobility, to cable�s broadband networks in competition with 3G broadband cellular networks.

Cable, said Ian McPherson, president of the Wireless Data Research Group, is �taking offensive action. At the heart of it is a partnership that will unify infrastructure. Step two is the MSOs are going to have to make an investment in extending their capabilities from a network management OSS perspective as well as making an investment in deployment and footprint.�

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