Virtualized WLAN provider trademarks term 'WiFi meltdown'

Meru Networks points to Steve Jobs' infamous iPhone 4 demo debacle as an example of why its technology is needed.

Apr 18th, 2011

Meru Networks, a provider of virtualized wireless LAN systems, has defined and trademarked the term "WiFi meltdown." In a positioning statement, Meru defines the WiFi Meltdown as "the fundamental failure of legacy microcell wireless networks to handle high density environments." The company further explains what a high-density environment is, as follows.

"As employees, customers and hotel guests introduce two to three wireless devices each at any given location, the ability to support 80, 84 or anything less than 100 wireless devices is simply not enough. Meru defines high density as an environment which supports over 500 wireless devices - like a convention center, campus auditorium or hotel lobby."

Meru says many witnessed a WiFi meltdown live when Steve Jobs tried to demo the iPhone 4 at the WWDC Conference in June 2010. Meru describes that famous demo as having been "derailed by overloaded airways as over 1,100 attendees attempt to go online at the same time."

The company lays the "meltdown" syndrome at the feet of the microcell deployment architecture. "This inherent desire of enterprise WiFi microcell-based equipment to avoid interference and operate as if it doesn't exist, in particular the ones that attempt to adapt to changing RF conditions, causes high susceptibility to RF interference and noise and creates a network with a single point of failure at the users' connection particularly in high user density situations. ...Continuously avoiding other APs, at some point, breaks down and significantly affects clients attached to the network."

The argument and logic are intended to support Meru's concept and technology related to virtualized WLANs.

You can visit Meru Networks' 'WiFi Meltdown' page here.

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