Verge Wireless Networks to Deploy Metro-Scale Wi-Fi Using Tropos Network's Mesh Technology in Downtown Baton Rouge, LA

BATON ROUGE, La.--()--Sept. 10, 2003--Verge Wireless Networks, Inc., a division of Camsoft Data Systems, Inc., today announced that it has selected Tropos Networks, Inc.'s cellular Wi-Fi equipment to form the first seamless hot zone over downtown Baton Rouge. By creating the city's first broadband cellular Wi-Fi mesh networking system in the downtown area, the wireless hot zone will enable local residents, tourists, business, and government to access the Internet and secured corporate networks from anywhere downtown. The only user requirement is a standard Wi-Fi network connection in their laptop or PDA.

"Our goal is to make the central business district completely wireless with free access to the public as well as a pay as you go services, such as secured VPN access for our private business, legal, and government customers," said Carlo MacDonald, president of Verge Wireless. "In addition to local access, customers of national Wi-Fi networks such as Boingo will eventually be able to roam on our system utilizing their same user name and password."

"The deployment of Tropos cellular Wi-Fi equipment in the downtown Baton Rouge hot zone demonstrates that people, businesses and government agencies want and need reliable, metro-scale Wi-Fi coverage areas," said Bert Williams, vice president of marketing at Tropos Networks. "Our technology enables a hot zone that truly supports how people work and play rather than confining them to limited, coffee shop hot spots."

Current Wi-Fi solutions require a wired backhaul, such as a T-1 line at each access point. With the Tropos mesh system, Wi-Fi cells require limited wired connectivity because they communicate wirelessly with each other while providing Wi-Fi coverage for clients. This allows Verge Wireless to build a scalable, metro-wide, non-line-of-sight network that can easily be expanded by adding Wi-Fi cells. The first phase of the deployment in Baton Rouge will be completed in September and the second by the end of the year. At that time, Verge will evaluate what additional areas of coverage may be needed.

"As our network grows downtown and in other areas in the state, all we have to do is add more Wi-Fi cells and they instantly begin communicating with each other, extending our range," said MacDonald. "We have been testing the Tropos product for a year and believe that 'mesh' networking is the only way to build large scale Wi-Fi networks. Other vendor's products require line-of-sight or backhaul that just makes them too expensive to deploy in this type of environment."

Local law enforcement and other public safety departments will be able to roam between the Wi-Fi network and the much slower networks currently in use, enabling them to slowly migrate applications to the faster network.

"We believe mesh technology will be the future of wireless networking. The wireless networking industry is changing every day. This industry is in the early stages of development very similar to cell phones in the '70s. Just as we poked fun at the guy with the large cell phone back then, it will take a while for all of us to understand how to use this technology in our every day life," said MacDonald.

"Wi-Fi cell technology will enable Verge Wireless to bring applications and services to our customers not currently available on today's wireless and wired networks. By using cutting edge technology from companies such as Tropos Networks, Verge Wireless will be bringing a wireless hot zone to a city near you," MacDonald concluded.

About Verge Wireless Networks, Inc.

Verge Wireless Networks, Inc., a leader in the development of 802.11 services, is poised to become a leading network provider for mobile business communications in Gulf South. Verge Wireless's easy-to-use and affordable enhancements unleash the mobile potential of devices such as laptops and PDAs, and the everyday functionality of e-mail, intranets and the Internet. By providing dedicated mobile broadband access across the entire city, Verge Wireless wants to significantly extend the function of these mobile devices for individuals who need or want access to the Internet, their corporate networks, e-mail or video-conferencing. For more information, please visit www.vergewireless.com, call 225-291-9887 or write to info@vergewireless.com

About Tropos Networks, Inc.

Tropos Networks, Inc. is a leading supplier of systems used to build metro-scale Wi-Fi networks. Tropos' products enable network operators, service providers and government departments to provide ubiquitous, metro-scale, broadband, wireless data coverage for users in any locale. Tropos' solution creates a truly wireless network, free from the requirement of per node wired connectivity associated with Wi-Fi hot spot deployments using access points. Tropos' products enable larger coverage areas, decreased installation costs and decreased operational costs. Formerly FHP Wireless, Inc., Tropos is headquartered in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, please visit www.tropos.com, call 650-286-4250 or write to info@tropos.com.

Contacts

CLS Communications, Inc.
Scott Green, 650-679-9044
teamgreen@rcn.com

Contacts

CLS Communications, Inc.
Scott Green, 650-679-9044
teamgreen@rcn.com