MobileAccess wireless-distribution system upgraded for simpler WLAN deployment

MobileAccess is modifying its in-building wireless-distribution system to simplify deployments for wireless LANs.

Like the previous model, the new MA-860 Wireless LAN Module will be a box into which you plug WLAN access points. The MA-860 combines these signals with signals from cellular base stations and wireless sensor networks, for example, and over coaxial cable to and from ceiling-mounted MobileAccess antennas. These multiband antennas act as a kind of radiant grid throughout the building, a single infrastructure that can support different types of wireless signals.

The MA-860, which typically is mounted in distribution switching closets, has new signal-conditioning code that compensates for the WLAN radio energy that “leaks” from the coaxial cable. What this means in practice is that IT staff can position the MobileAccess antennas as if they were WLAN access points. No additional measurements, testing or experimentation is needed, according to Cathy Zatloukal, CEO for the Vienna, Va., company.

Also new is a port that for the first time supports multimode fiber, which now can be used where available instead of single-mode fiber to connect the MA-860 to the central MobileAccess head-end unit.

A complete MobileAccess deployment consists of the head-end components, which link with cellular base stations or repeaters and put those signals onto the fiber backbone; the remote hub units, which include the MA-860 and other boxes for various wireless voice and data services; and the multiband antennas.

The MA-860 is in beta tests with Cisco and is expected to ship in the fourth quarter. Pricing has not been completed.
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