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News

Helium Networks to commercialize wireless LAN technology invented by Carnegie Mellon University researchers

Carnegie Mellon Universtity : 26 February, 2003  (Technical Article)
Helium Networks, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based mobile and wireless solutions company, announced today that it has signed an exclusive license to commercialize patented wireless LAN technologies and prototyped tools invented at Carnegie Mellon University. Wireless LANs, also known as 'Wi-Fi,' are labor intensive to design and optimize for network coverage and reliability. The tools and technologies from Carnegie Mellon reduce the cost of Wi-Fi design and ongoing maintenance by nearly 50 percent.
Helium Networks, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based mobile and wireless solutions company, announced today that it has signed an exclusive license to commercialize patented wireless LAN technologies and prototyped tools invented at Carnegie Mellon University. Wireless LANs, also known as 'Wi-Fi,' are labor intensive to design and optimize for network coverage and reliability. The tools and technologies from Carnegie Mellon reduce the cost of Wi-Fi design and ongoing maintenance by nearly 50 percent.

The design and optimization tool, dubbed 'Rollabout' by Carnegie Mellon inventors, takes the guesswork out of designing and maintaining wireless LANs. Wi-Fi design today uses a trial-and-error technique of positioning and testing access points multiple times to complete a site survey. Rollabout combines several patented technologies in a unique, self-sufficient mobile platform, and eliminates the trial-and-error placement of access points. Using Rollabout, Wi-Fi designers position access points, and move Rollabout through the facility to create a coverage map, and collect and interpret distance and radio signal data for the best Wi-Fi design.

To obtain the most complete and reliable wireless LAN design, a designer uses the Rollabout-generated coverage map and a drag-and-drop design interface to 'virtually' relocate access points on the screen to receive a real-time estimate of the resulting coverage. Rollabout technology assists the designer in determining optimal access point placements and the best frequency assignments.

Alex Hills, Rollabout's inventor and distinguished service professor at Carnegie Mellon, said 'Rollabout is the result of almost a decade of experience in designing and troubleshooting wireless LANs. Wireless LAN access points must be placed correctly, and radio frequencies must be correctly assigned to these base stations.'

Industry analysts predict that by 2005, there will be 80 million wireless LANs in use worldwide. Analysts from IDC, the industry's largest provider of technology intelligence, also predict that quality of service and the uncertainty of ongoing operational costs will no doubt determine the pace of new technology deployment.

'Cost effective, reliable wireless LAN implementations require breakthrough new ideas for design and optimization of Wi-Fi access point placements. Rollabout is that breakthrough solution,' said James S. Glessner, co-founder and president of Helium Networks.

Helium Networks, headquartered in Pittsburgh, delivers innovative, information-based solutions and infrastructure design, leveraging Wireless LAN and mobile computing applications for businesses, and academic, government and health care institutions. Helium Networks' Wireless LAN designs and applications are optimized to consider the impact of future growth and performance, along with the increased dynamics of security and network management.
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