Perth integrator JW Montcrieff has won a deal to deploy what's claimed to be the first wireless mesh network in Australia.
The Nortel-based wireless mesh network would be deployed at Western Australia's Edith Cowan University to help staff and students access university resources such as the library.
Wireless mesh is a way of networking 802.11b wireless infrastructure to more easily cover large or remote areas.
Nortel wireless mesh networking and Nortel wireless LAN packages are expected to make it easier for the university to meet future demand for services across four campuses totalling 132.35 hectares and 168 buildings.
Jeff Murray, IT manager at Edith Cowan University, said the institution had been seeking ways to extend its wireless network coverage while keeping costs down.
The network was expected to save $300,000, “which means the new network will basically pay for itself”, he said.
Any network adopted had to cover the inside and outside of campus buildings, meet future bandwidth demands and accommodate converged voice, video and data communications, he said.
“Also, due to the University's geographical spread, it had to be hardy enough to service both metropolitan and rural environments,” Murray said in a statement.
Up to 70 percent of the university's mobile phone calls were from a campus base station to a campus phone.
Edith Cowan University has a services industry focus and 23,000 students based across Western Australia.
A Nortel spokesman said traditional network resellers could expect opportunities to arise from selling wireless mesh gear to large corporations, government, and even smaller companies.
Resellers could bundle traditional wired or wireless gear with wireless mesh access points, or pitch wireless mesh gear as an add-on for their existing network customers, he said.
Edith Cowan University's new wireless mesh network incorporated Nortel Wireless Access Point 7220, Nortel Wireless Gateway 7250, and Nortel Wireless Mesh Network high-speed wireless data from Wi-Fi networks to broadband networks.
The university was expected to try Nortel's Multimedia Communications Server 5100 in the next 12 months with a view to voice, video and data streaming services over the wireless mesh network.