MeshNetworks makes Munchkins...!

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From: Rohit Khare (
Date: Thu Nov 23 2000 - 14:54:06 PST

>MeshNetworks is advancing broadband wireless technology to support
>IP based data, voice, video, and precision location for mobile
>handheld devices at 6 Megabits per second. The system is designed
>to accommodate data, as well as voice, as the main transmission
>content. The technology offers higher bits/Hertz/square kilometer
>than competing technologies through frequency reuse efficiency, yet
>remains 1/10th the cost of 3G cellular. ITT Industries originally
>developed this technology for the U.S. Military for wireless
>communications in battlefield conditions without existing
>infrastructure. Today, MeshNetworks is commercializing that
>technology to unleash the true potential of the mobile wireless

There's a gold mine in the Department of Defense," says CEO Masood
Garahi. He should know. His company, Meshnetworks
(, has licensed the same futuristic
wireless transmission technology designed for the DOD by ITT
Industries. It was originally developed to enable U.S. soldiers to
beam out data, voice, video, and precision location information from
wireless devices in battlefield conditions without the need for
preexisting infrastructure.

But Mr. Garahi isn't interested in 21st century battlefields and
wired soldiers. Meshnetworks has inked an exclusive licensing
agreement with ITT to develop commercial applications for the
technology, which it will sell to wireless equipment vendors and
device makers, such as Sony, Nokia, and Motorola.

Its potential is revolutionary. Using a combination of software
routing algorithms and RF chipsets, Meshnetworks' technology enables
wireless devices to work as a peer-to-peer network, fanning out like
a giant spider web, using the devices rather than radio towers to
transmit signals. Each handset is capable of transmitting at data
rates from 6 Mbps to 18 Mbps. And because it doesn't require
traditional networks, Mr. Garahi reckons it's perfect for developing
nations. It will also enable established wireless carriers to deploy
the technological equivalent of a 3G (third generation) network at
one-tenth the cost.

The software will be available at the beginning of next year, with
the chipset to follow by year's end. If it works for consumer
applications, Mr. Garahi will no doubt have struck a rich vein.

INVESTORS: Redwood Ventures (lead); ITT Industries; BancBoston
Ventures; Patricof & Co. Ventures; 3Com Ventures

MeshNetworks' network architecture is made up of four hardware and
software elements: the Transceiver Module within a Subscriber Device,
the Wireless Router, Intelligent Access Point (IAP), and the Mobile
internet Switching Center (MiSC). MeshNetworks will develop the
custom integrated circuits, software, and designs to implement all
the above Ad Hoc QDMA elements. And we will build the Wireless
Router, Intelligent Access Point (IAP) and Mobile internet Switching
Center (MiSC).

Subscriber Device. Subscriber Devices and Transceiver Modules will be
supplied by third parties and business partners of MeshNetworks. In
the Subscriber Device will be MeshNetworks' Transceiver Module
software and custom integrated circuits. This Module will enable the
applications running on the Subscriber Device's processor to
communicate with the Ad Hoc QDMA network.

The Transceiver Module is made up of a proprietary modem ASIC, a DSP,
a micro-controller, RF circuitry, memory, and proprietary networking
and link layer software. The networking software functions to find
the most efficient route to the device's destination and to maintain
a route to that destination as changes occur in the topology of the
network. The networking layer also enforces quality of service rules
that maintain precedence for voice and for real-time video and audio
above other types of data. MeshNetworks has embedded two proprietary
applications in this Module: Voice Over IP (VOIP) and position
location. VOIP has been embedded to ensure that Ad Hoc QDMA voice
performance exceeds that of cellular and approaches that of wired
phones. MeshNetworks' will provide an API for the position location
data generated by its network so that third party applications
developers can provide applications that can make use of this
information and can present it in useful ways to consumers.

The Transceiver Module in the Subscriber Device will enable its
Subscriber Device to participate with other Subscriber Devices in the
automatic formation of a network. It allows its Subscriber Device to
directly communicate with other Subscriber Devices. This means that
if a group wishes to hike into the mountains, where there may be no
Ad Hoc QDMA infrastructure, that group can still have full voice,
data, video, and location services within the group. In addition, the
units can be configured to relay and route one another's calls
through one another, for range extension and to route around

For operation in areas where Ad Hoc QDMA infrastructure is available,
it is probable that Subscriber Devices that are operating on battery
power would not be used for the routing and relaying function. This
will run the battery down in Subscriber Devices and would therefore
be objectionable to consumers.

The size, weight, power, and cost of the Transceiver Module will be
compatible with the subscriber device in which it is embedded. One
implementation might be in a Type 2 or Type 3 PC card for use in
laptop, palmtop, and other devices. Specific implementations will be
provided by MeshNetworks' licensees.

Wireless Router. The second element of the MeshNetworks' network
architecture is the Wireless Router. The Wireless Router will contain
the MeshNetworks Transceiver Module, DC power, and AC power. It will
be packaged consistent with mounting on light poles, utility poles,
and rooftops. Its purpose will be to provide RF range extension and
routes around obstructions so that the Ad Hoc QDMA network can supply
a high degree of coverage for Subscriber Devices throughout an area.
It will relay and route a call from and to a Subscriber Device, from
and to other Wireless Routers, and from and to IAPs. Density of
Wireless Router deployment in an area will depend on the density of
obstructions and the coverage requirements. MeshNetworks plans to
manufacture its Wireless Routers and to license their custom
integrated circuits and software to infrastructure equipment

Intelligent Access Point (IAP). The IAP is the third element of
MeshNetworks' network architecture. It will contain at least one
Transceiver Module, DC power, AC power, and an interface such as
xDSL, ISDN, T-1/E-1 (wired or wireless), 10BaseT Ethernet, or
100BaseT Ethernet. The IAP is the transition point from the
subscriber side of the local or regional network to the backbone side
of the local or regional network. The IAP's visitor location register
(VLR) size is 2000. This means that 2000 registered network
users-those registered to the IAP as home users and those that are
passing through the area as guests-may make use of the IAP's services.

Subscriber Devices may connect directly to IAPs to in turn connect
with a destination Subscriber Device across town or through the
Internet, public switched telephone network (PSTN), or other network.
In such a case, the destination device may or may not contain a
MeshNetworks Transceiver Module. It may have a DSL connection to the
Internet and have no RF interface at all, or it may be a 3G cellular
phone, or it may indeed be an Ad Hoc QDMA Subscriber Device. In an
area with infrastructure, an Ad Hoc QDMA Subscriber Device will
coordinate with an IAP to discover a route to its destination
Subscriber Device.

The IAP would, like the Wireless Router, be packaged in such a way
that it can be mounted out-of-doors. In many instances it is likely
to be mounted on the rooftops of buildings that have wired service
that can be used for backbone connectivity to the other IAPs in a
region and to the MiSC for that region.

The density of IAPs in a region depends on both capacity requirements
and subscriber density. As we've said, they are designed to support a
maximum of 2000 subscribers. MeshNetworks plans to manufacture its
IAPs and to license their custom integrated circuits and software to
infrastructure equipment manufacturers.

Mobile internet Switching Center (MiSC). The MiSC is attached to a
wide area network to which the MeshNetworks Gateways are also
attached. On the same network will be the gateways to other networks
such as the Internet and the PSTN.

The MiSC provides call control across MeshNetworks' IAPs and between
the Ad Hoc QDMA network and other networks such as the Internet and
the PSTN. It also provides Operations, Administration, Management, &
Provisioning (OAM&P) services to the Ad Hoc QDMA network. The MiSC
contains the Mobility Manager for the Ad Hoc QDMA network. It is made
up of commercial off the shelf hardware, commercial off the shelf
software, and some custom Ad Hoc QDMA-specific software.

The HLR contains information about each Subscriber Device, Wireless
Router, and IAP in the MiSC's region. This information will include:
registered Gateway address, home agent information for each
Subscriber Device and Router, current network attachment point, phone
number, and subscription services.

One MiSC can be expected to support as many as 200 IAPs. MeshNetworks
plans to manufacture its MiSCs and to license their custom software
to infrastructure equipment manufacturers.

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