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Nortel's MeshPlanner
Posted: 18-May-2005 [Source: Nortel]

[MeshPlanner offers network designers the ability to simulate a deployment area by recommending where wireless access points should be placed for optimal network performance.]

Austin -- Nortel and Wireless Valley(R) Communications announced a joint initiative to bring to market MeshPlannerTM for Nortel, a precise, intuitive planning tool that optimizes wireless mesh network design. MeshPlanner makes it possible for network designers to ensure superior service coverage and secure network access for seamless mobility throughout a city or campus while reducing planning and implementation costs.

Tailored to the unique architecture of Nortel's wireless mesh network technology, MeshPlanner allows designers to simulate the mesh solution on a computerized model of the deployment area. By examining the impact of obstacles such as buildings, parking garages and foliage on wireless coverage, MeshPlanner enables the network to be deployed faster while ensuring excellent resiliency, redundancy and performance.

Wireless mesh networks often cover hundreds of acres of service area. Man-made and natural obstructions must be factored into these designs, which can be costly, time consuming and lead to troublesome inaccuracies when manual planning methods are used. MeshPlanner's precise computer modeling of an area removes the guesswork from planning by recommending where wireless access points (APs) should be placed to maximize coverage and ease installation. The model also predicts how landscape will impact wireless signals and simulates capacity required to ensure uninterrupted service for specified numbers of users.

Now available, MeshPlanner for Nortel provides an easy and flexible process for designing mesh networks in a few simple steps. First, designers import a map of the location and identify obstructions such as buildings or trees that will impact wireless signals. End-user regions are then created by establishing capacity requirements including how many users are expected and what type of service will be needed. The designer then adds APs to the end-user service area and is able to run simulations that visualize network performance and signal strength to ensure no coverage holes exist.

MeshPlanner allows designers to next create transit links between APs within the mesh network and then determine which APs will have wired access to the network. To complete the design, the user runs a comprehensive simulation to check coverage areas, redundancy, capacity requirements, transit links and AP connections. If any design factors are not met, MeshPlanner highlights which APs need to be adjusted and corrections are made.

Wireless Valley's products enable companies to establish a repeatable and scalable process for designing and managing wireless networks. The composition and contents of a building or city such as the wall construction, trees and electronic interferers can have significant impact on wireless signals. Adding to the challenge is the invisibility of radio waves. Using a predictive approach pioneered by the company, Wireless Valley's software enables design engineers to interactively visualize how the wireless signals will propagate and fine tune the network design with "what if" analysis to determine optimum performance. Once the network is installed, IT departments use the software to visualize radio frequency (RF) activity, detect wireless network issues and remotely resolve problems. Wireless Valley's approach has been proven in thousands of in-building and campus deployments where quality of service requirements have been met; design, deployment and management costs have been minimized; and investments in wireless equipment have been maximized.

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