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26 (121) 2016
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Digitisation

Global disruptive wireless solutions developed through UK-Poland-Japan partnership

by Dr Hiroshi Furukawa, professor at Kyushu University and Jan J. Kluk, OBE PicoCELA International
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Despite an ever growing need for fast, reliable Wi-Fi around the world, most commercial premises, be they office buildings, hotels, shopping malls, airports, manufacturing facilities or power plants continue to fall short when it comes to offering seamless connectivity.

Spotty, unstable coverage, variable bandwidth and ubiquitous black spots all have a negative impact on businesses, especially since the much-publicised IoT (Internet of Things) revolution is driving many companies to move their data to the cloud.

Fundamental shifts in commercial dynamics mean that the demand for stable, continuous connectivity has never been higher. Companies that are serious about business-critical connectivity have no choice but to invest heavily in costly cables, cumbersome controllers and expensive engineering support in order to connect, protect, maintain and manage their wireless communication infrastructure.

Until recently, an affordable and effective answer to the need for constant connectivity remained illusive, but a UK- Polish-Japanese partnership is now addressing the issue with a new benchmark technology for stable, secure wireless backhaul.

Developed by Hiroshi Furukawa, professor at Kyushu University in Japan, the patented PicoCELA Backhaul Engine was recently launched commercially through PicoCELA International in Warsaw and a new company in the UK, spearheaded by a former BPCC chairman, Jan J. Kluk OBE.

The distinguishing feature of the technology is its unique Dynamic Tree Topology, which challenges the networks created by enterprise-grade access points on the market, including units sold by global corporations such as Cisco, Aruba, Zebra and Ruckus.

Most of the wireless networking devices currently  deployed for enterprise users require extensive cables and complex scheduling. Users often experience failures and downtime due to co-channel interference and bi-directional collisions.

PicoCELA Technology has greater throughput performance – up to 10 times higher – allowing operators to deploy more access points to cover wider areas, connecting them all wirelessly to the Internet from a single LAN-connected core node.

Cabling requirements can be reduced by up to 90%, which significantly decreases the total cost of ownership, without sacrificing  wireless coverage or performance. “We have already deployed our technology in more than 100 sites in Japan,” says Dr Furukawa. “One of the networks is a public Wi-Fi zone in a crowded underground shopping mall covering 1.2 kilometres. The deployment uses 27 PicoCELA enhanced access points, but has only four wired Internet connections”

Thanks to flexibility, combined with its superior throughput performance and considerable cost benefits, PicoCELA Backhaul Engine is already making waves not only in the enterprise sector, but also in IoT.

“In addition to access points, it can also be used with new generation IoT gateways and sensors, with cameras, STBs or even smartphones,” explained Dr Furukawa. “The protocol suite can also be ported onto the OS of legacy products that meet basic requirements, utilising their existing radios to enable multi-hop wireless backhaul.”

Another key component of PicoCELA’s backhaul solution is the PicoManager, a cloud-based platform specifically designed to monitor, manage and store data from PicoCELA enhanced wireless networks. The units can be managed from anywhere in the world, further simplifying network operation and administrative costs.

This powerful combination of benefits means PicoCELA International in Poland and the UK is confident of swift market acceptance for the technology as a new world-quality standard.

“We are currently collaborating with several major manufacturers of enterprise access points and IoT gateways to enhance their products with PicoCELA Backhaul Engine,” said Mr. Kluk. “This will improve network stability on enterprise environments  and extend wireless coverage to locations that would not otherwise be reachable due to cabling restrictions. The applications are unlimited, with new communication channels and use-cases for the technology constantly being considered. In that sense, we offer a truly disruptive solution.”

For more information on PicoCELA Technology features and live deployments visit: Picocela.com

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