Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's All About the Numbers

Interesting games high tech companies play. Below is the email I sent to John Honovich of IPVideoMarket.info regarding Proxim's new product announcement (redacted), especially the reference he made to Firetide (italics are mine):
Hi John:

I had to get back to you on this (see, it pays to be a subscriber to your premium service). Correct, what Proxim put in the headline (300/600 Mbps) is actually radio data rate, not usable bandwidth. They indicated that usable bandwidth is 100 Mpbs for ‘300 Mbps’ product. The radios Firetide uses also provide 300 Mbps data rate per radio (that’s 801.11n standard); for dual radio product, our mesh provides 600 Mpbs ‘data rate.’

However, when we announced our product, we did *not* use data rate when we said “400 Mpbs” – it’s the actual throughput of the dual-radio product. True, it was achieved in indoor, lab conditions which are quite favorable to MIMO due to multipath reflections created by walls etc. Outdoor throughput will of course be lower and will wary depending on how much one can take advantage of MIMO’s multi-path, but not by the orders of magnitude in stepping down from Proxim’s data rate to usable throughput. Also, I’m quite sure that Proxim’s 100 Mpbs is lab test result, not the field data.
Originally posted by John Honovich
New 300 Mb/s Wireless Video Surveillance Product Offering

Proxim has released two series of high speed wireless networking equipment targeted to the video surveillance market. [...] Key point - though the series says 300Mb/s, an examination of the data sheet indicates that the system is actually for 100Mb/s of throughput. [This is similar to the variance in Firetide's new super high bandwidth product].

Proxim reports that later this year, it will release a 600 Mb/s version. Proxim says there will be a variety of models offered, some of which can be software upgraded for higher speeds while others require new equipment.