Motorola expanded its WLAN capabilities this week with by acquiring Wireless Valley, an Austin, Texas-based maker of software for planning and managing wireless networks.
Wireless Valley is the cornerstone of RF Design and Management Solutions, a new group in Motorola's Enterprise division that will focus on leveraging Wireless Valley's technology for applications such as enterprise RF planning, WLAN design and mesh networking, according to a spokesperson for Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola. Terms of the acquisition deal weren’t disclosed.
Although Wireless Valley has just 24 employees, solution providers said the company's unique technology makes it one of the most useful WLAN design and management tools on the market. Joe Bardwell, president and chief scientist at Connect802, San Ramon, Calif., said Wireless Valley uses predictive statistical algorithms to model networks for a diverse range of wireless communication systems, including paging, medical telemetry, cellular and PCS systems, EV-DO and EDGE wireless broadband, Wi-Fi and Wi-Max, among others.
"No other product that we’ve seen provides our engineers with the design capabilities to accurately predict RF performance in such a broad number of application areas," Bardwell said.
Wireless Valley works best in designing networks for office buildings, malls, campuses and other indoor public areas, said Rich Berliner, CEO of Berliner Communications, an Elmwood Park, N.J.-based wireless solution provider. The task of setting up networks in these environments is especially challenging because the signal can't negotiate its way around corners and other obstacles, he said.
"Customers want a guaranteed level of coverage with no dead spots, which means the antennas have to be carefully positioned to enable coverage over the entire area," Berliner said. Wireless Valley also includes management features that allow network administrators to test signal strength in various parts of the coverage area, he added.