Virtual Cell, is the key ingredent of the Meru Networks solution which maximizes available bandwidth, eliminates co-channel interference and eliminates wireless contention loss.
How the Technology works: The architecture uses Virtual Cells to eliminate co-channel interference by placing all access points on one channel span and letting the controller control a fully-coordinated, distributed architecture. To a client, all APs appear as one. All APs are placed on the same channel with the same Basic Service Set Identifier (BSSID), as opposed to each AP having its own unique BSSID. The controller decides what AP the client should send it’s packet to based on the signal strength it sees from all AP’s within range – having the controller decide what AP the client should associate with is the key for getting the best performance from your wireless network.
In laymen terms, the Air Traffic Controller gives every client its own time slot to talk (send its packets) and receive its packets. The Controller cycles through each client one after another in nano seconds without fail over and over.
Contention loss, causing the biggest loss in bandwidth, is caused by colliding packets; thus, because Meru’s controller schedules specific time intervals for each client to send its data there are no colliding packets, and no re-transmits thus higher shared bandwidth becomes possible with multiple clients.
On the other hand, Micro Cell deployments, like Cisco, do not give time slots for clients to send its data thus multiple clients can send its packets at the same time. If this happens all clients must randomly back-off, and re-transmit its packet again and a random interval to avoid colliding again. If the clients did not choose a random back off time, it is possible each client would repeatedly back off the same amount of time and repeatedly collide when re-transmission is attempted. Using a random backoff table is not an efficient mean to manage multiple clients.
Meru’s Single Channel Plan
- Simplest coverage planning with near zero-penalty for making planning mistakes via single channel span/Virtual Cell technology
- Meru’s Virtual Cell technology makes the entire coverage area look like a single cell for the mobile device
- APs do not operate as stand-alone wireless Ethernet hubs; instead, they operate as a coordinated system of antennas, maximizing parallelism in transmission while minimizing co-channel interference
Virtual Cell Benefits:
Network Strategy Partners, LLC a management consulting firm to the networking industry conducted an experiment between Meru’s system and the Micro Cell design (Cisco, Aruba, Colubris) and on average they found that:
- A Meru deployment in 802.11n costs 31% less than an 802.11n Micro Cell deployment.
- A Meru deployment in 802.11a/b/g costs 37% less than an 802.11a/b/g Micro Cell deployment
The test took into account all hardware costs, software costs, installation costs and design costs for a 250,000 square foot building. (ask an AirJuice representative for further details, or for a copy of the report)
For more information on Virtual Cell Infrastructure please call a LComm representation today! 1 866 547 2666