Tropos Networks signed its 500^th customer - a milestone in the muni
wireless-mesh-growth battle in which Tropos is battling Cisco for the
Number One market position.
Win Number 500 is Las Vegas, N.M. - a city of about 15,000 (gee, a
single hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., can hold that many) in the foothills of
the gorgeous Sangre de Christo mountains. The N.M. mesh is being ordered
only for public-safety use at this time. That's fairly usual, but such
installations typically don't make the big headlines that public- access
muni networks get.
Tropos heralds the win as the capstone to a year in which its node
shipments grew by more than 120 percent, comparing the last quarter of
2006 to the quarter a year earlier. The year 2006 also saw 200 new
customers out of the 500 total, Tropos adds. The company is predicting
higher growth this year, in nodes if not total contracts, as it works on
the major Philadelphia and Anaheim muni networks, for which it's the
supplier. The company also is widely expected to nail down the contract
for Atlanta, where EarthLink recently won the nod for a city franchise
(/TelecomWeb news break/, Jan. 26); Tropos has partnered with EarthLink
on a string of public access municipal deployments.
The company, citing studies that the number of planned but
not-yet-deployed municipal Wi-Fi networks grew from 59 in February 2006
to 135 in September 2006, now says it expects the overall muni mesh
market to double in 2007, although the company stopped short of
predicting it would see that kind of growth for itself.
"Tropos registered significant growth and completed important
deployments in 2006," says Ron Sege, president and CEO. "We completed
large, very sophisticated multi-user deployments, such as Corpus
Christi, and demonstrated that citywide networks could be rolled out
quickly, completing a 23-square-mile system for Kite Networks in
Longmont, Colo., in less than 12 weeks."
The company also made public network-utilization statistics from its
public-access muni meshes. In a 10-to-15-sq.-mi. city, Tropos typically
sees between 20-percent and 25- percent household penetration. It calls
that level "on par with DSL plus cable broadband penetration." In a mesh
of that size, the company typically sees 1,550 steady daily users and an
average of 2,640 users per week.
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