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« N + Legacy Wi-Fi How-To | Main | Wi-Fi Alliance Starts Testing Draft N »

June 22, 2007

New York College Builds Early 802.11n Network with Meru Gear

By Glenn Fleishman

Morrisville State College could be the first large-scale buildout of Draft N equipment for a wide-area wireless LAN: They plan to have 900 Meru APs with 802.11n installed by September for the 1,800 students. Each node is $1,500 at retail—holy smokes! That’s the price of early deployments. Meru’s regular 802.11g nodes run half that at retail.

I have a problem with the radio count noted in the article. Two radios in the AP are described, one each for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Incoming students will receive Lenovo ThinkPad’s with 802.11n installed and preset to the 5 GHz band. However, the 2.4 GHz band is described as being broken into a 20 MHz 802.11b/g dedicated channel and a 40 MHz 802.11n channel. That’s not exactly how a single radio functions. You’d need two separate 2.4 GHz radios for that purpose. And most of the 802.11n experts and chipmakers I’ve spoken to don’t recommend running 802.11n in this fashion.

The college was still using a 2 Mpbs 1999 era Raytheon Raylink system for their network! There’s another New York college, Mount Saint Mary, that made a leap from RangeLAN systems in the late 90s to 802.11a back in 2002 (!!) using Proxim gear. They were way ahead of their time, but they also had Morrisville’s advantage: they were helping students get the right gear at a decent price (or rolled into tuition).

Posted by Glennf at June 22, 2007 2:26 PM

Categories: 802.11n, Enterprise

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