The HotZone Duo comes with one or two radios: The new products compete both against Tropos and BelAir's single-radio mesh nodes, and against BelAir, Cisco, SkyPilot, and Strix's two-plus radio products that offload backbone traffic through switched, mesh, or point-to-multipoint links. A few months ago, the Motomesh division head told me that residential use of metro-scale Wi-Fi couldn't compete against wired service, and was emphasizing the loss in single-radio hopping as packets were rebroadcast over clusters.
But, just as BelAir told me that they had to release a single-radio product to compete against Tropos for price and market niche, I imagine that Motorola wants to sell two-radio solutions that conform to their vision of metro-scale service.
These new products put them somewhat at odds with Tropos, which has been paired with Motorola's Canopy gear as backhaul for their clusters. In the Tropos configuration, a few mesh nodes, typically 4 to 6, are paired with a Canopy radio that uses WiMax point-to-multipoint aggregation to base stations that then in turn use license, high-frequency wireless to further aggregate to fiber points of presence and network operation centers.
Now, Motorola can sell an end-to-end solution, coupled with their existing multi-radio public-safety oriented system that uses both 2.4 GHz and the 4.9 GHz public safety band.
EarthLink contracted with Motorola as their service firm, meaning a division of Motorola handles integrating and maintaining all the technology for the metro-scale operations that will roll out in Anaheim (launching in a few days) and Philadelphia (test network due later this year). EarthLink committed months ago to Tropos and Motorola Canopy for its first five cities.
Tropos knew the writing was on the wall, which is why they now also have a partnership with Alvarion, one of the leading WiMax firms, with a history of broadband wireless gear dating back to the mid-90s.