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Press Release

Novarum Fills 802.11n vs. 802.11a/g Information Void with Release of Industry's First Benchmark Report on Campus Mesh Networks

Study Sets a Baseline for Performance Expectations, Reveals Surprising Price/Performance Results for 802.11n over Legacy Systems

San Francisco - January 10, 2010

Novarum, a strategic consulting and analysis firm for the wireless broadband data industry, announced today the release of its study, measuring the performance of the recently ratified 802.11n standard against currently available 802.11a/g products in an outdoor campus mesh network. The report establishes a benchmark by which network planners can determine the impact and value of the emerging 802.11n standard. More»


Novarum and rClient Join Forces to Offer Support for ARRA Stimulus Grant Proposals

Create a single source delivering comprehensive business and technical consulting services for BTOP and BIP Applicants

San Francisco, Minneapolis - September 30, 2009

rClient and Novarum are working together to provide complete, end-to-end consulting services for broadband stimulus projects. Together, Novarum and rClient can contribute to any aspect of broadband infrastructure projects. We provide strategic advice on building public private partnerships, program definition, building the right business model, and creating an effective team to get the project done. More»


Recent news is covered in the Novarum blog.

Visit the blog for the latest.

Earlier Novarum coverage and commentary.

Don’t Count Metro Wi-Fi (or Earthlink) Out Just Yet

October 18 , 2007
Noami Graychase, Wi-Fi Planet

Novarum released a new set of reports this week that offer some good news to those in the metro wireless game. Based on comprehensive on-the-ground tests conducted by Novarum co-founders Phil Belanger and Ken Biba, these reports, which update last year’s numbers, and add some new cities and new indicators across the board, prove that Wi-Fi remains a viable and even appealing choice for citywide networks. More>>


802.11N promises to lift the muni Wi-Fi market

October 17 , 2007
Carol Ellison, MuniWireless

Novarum's latest ratings on municipal Wi-Fi networks are out and, not only do they find that muni Wi-Fi is "far from dead," they found that muni Wi-Fi networks can operate as reliably as cellular data services if next-gen 802.11n client devices or high-performance adapters and high-gain antennas are used. More >>

Citywide Wi-Fi Improving, Testing Firm Novarum Reports

October 16 , 2007
Glenn Fleishman , Wi-Fi Networking News

Novarum has released a limited set of its first-half 2007 findings while testing metro-scale Wi-Fi and cell data networks: The rankings are fine, but I’m more interested in what they discovered while performing their tests. They discovered that high-powered Wi-Fi adapters really do make an appreciable difference in providing an improvement in coverage and performance—something that’s not always been clear. More >>

Press Release

Wi-Fi Remains Attractive Choice for City-wide Wireless Networks

Novarum issues 1H 2007 top wireless broadband services rankings: tests show average Metro Wi-Fi performance twice that of 3G cellular data services

San Francisco - October16, 2007

Novarum today announces the immediate availability of the current set of reports from the Novarum Wireless Broadband Review (NWBR) covering surveys of networks in sixteen cities through the first half of 2007. The NWBR is unique multi-city survey which evaluates wireless data services based on Wi-Fi, WiMAX or 3G cellular technologies from a user’s perspective.. More»


The Cost of 'Free' Wireless

September 10 , 2007

Wayne Rash , eWeek

Don't get caught up in the "free wireless" hype
AT&T is providing the city of Riverside, Calif., with free wireless access, supported by advertising. But there are still costs involved, said Michael Beck, assistant city manager."It doesn't come free, but it can be very cost-effective," Beck said. "That is where a community can get caught with a surprise. You have to make sure you know what the costs are on the city side, not just the wireless community." Many cities, however, are getting caught up in the "free wireless" hype. "In general, we've gone through a period of early hype and expectations," said Phil Belanger, managing director of San Francisco-based Novarum. "It's not peace, love and free Wi-Fi. It's a valuable service."  More>>


802.11n Unlocks the Potential of the 5 GHz Band

August 9, 2007

Phil Belanger and Ken Biba, Wi-Fi Planet

The IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standards have long included service on multiple frequency bands—2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. However, largely due to the disappointing coverage of existing 5 GHz products (802.11a)—the use of 5 GHz Wireless LANs has been limited to a few high-capacity enterprise networks, consumer networks, and wireless backhaul for metropolitan area networks. 5 GHz radio signals just do not propagate as well—particularly indoors, through walls—as 2.4 GHz radio signals. It's basic physics. More >>


802.11n Coverage and Range in the Enterprise

June 21, 2007

Phil Belanger and Ken Biba, Wi-Fi Planet

Ten years ago, designing a wireless LAN was more art than science. Most of the early wireless LAN deployments were “hand-crafted” in the sense that RF engineers designed the layout and placement of access points (APs) with simple tools and their good instincts. Back then, when 802.11 networks operated at 1 and 2 Mbps and APs were “fat,” the rule of thumb for coverage planning in WLANs was 20% overlap of adjacent cells. More>>

Time for Wi-Fi to sink or sync

June 17, 2007

Miriam Hill , Philadelphia Inquirer

Is Philadelphia about to become a wireless heaven, filled with laptop-wielding residents connecting to the Internet on the cheap from home or around town? Or is the dream announced almost three years ago by Mayor Street to make Philadelphia a "hot city" just that - a dream whose reality will only disappoint?
We're about to find out. The City of Philadelphia and EarthLink Inc., the company hired to build the citywide wireless network, recently said testing of a 15-square-mile pilot project had gone well enough that they were forging ahead with plans to expand it over the city's full 135 square miles. More>>


Who has the best muni Wi-Fi network?

January 26 , 2007

David Haskin , Computerworld

Public networks need a lot of access points

Enough municipal wireless systems are in place that it's becoming clear what makes for good and bad networks, according to a study released this week by Novarum. Among the findings are that St. Cloud, Fla., has the best overall municipal Wi-Fi network in North America, while Toronto has the fastest. More»

Ranking Muni Wi-Fi

January 25 , 2007
Glenn Fleishman , Wi-Fi Networking News

The folks at Novarum think Wi-Fi might actually work city-wide: Ken Biba and Phil Belanger, the founders of Novarum, released a few statistics from their tests of 14 cities in the US that contain large-scale Wi-Fi networks that are substantially deployed or complete. Their results are the strongest endorsement yet that these sorts of Wi-Fi networks can work, More»

Can Metro Wi-Fi Beat Cellular?

January 24 , 2007

Stephen Lawson, IDG News Service, PC World

City Wi-Fi stacks up well against cellular data services, say researchers.

Metropolitan Wi-Fi networks deliver much higher speed than cellular data and in some cases have comparable coverage, according to an independent test conducted in 14 North American cities and towns.


Press Release

Telecommunications Industry Experts Launch Novarum, New Wireless Broadband Advisory Firm

Publishes first survey of Metro Wi-Fi and cellular data services performance and availability in six North American cities

San Francisco - November 14 , 2006

As wireless broadband networks and services proliferate, there is a critical need for reliable independent auditing of these next generation networks and services. More»

Trust But Verify: Measurement for Metro-Scale Networks

November 14 , 2006
Glenn Fleishman , Wi-Fi Networking News

New measurement firm joins two others that aim to audit performance of metropolitan-scale Wi-Fi networks: Wi-Fi veterans Phil Belanger and Ken Biba today launch Novarum, a firm that will produce 10 reports per quarter on how Wi-Fi networks that span cities and counties measure up. More»

Novarum Compares Networks, Cuts Through Confusion

November 21 , 2006

Phil Belanger Q&A with W2i, the Wireless Internet Institute More»

Measuring Metro Wi-Fi

November 14 , 2006
Eric Griffith , Wi-Fi Planet

The co-founders in Novarum have given themselves a rather unique mission. Instead of pontificating opinions about what is happening with wireless IP data/voice networks in big cities, they’re actually going to measure just how useful those networks are for end-users in accomplishing “meaningful work.” More»

Trust But Verify: Measurement for Metro-Scale Networks

November 14 , 2006
Glenn Fleishman , Wi-Fi Networking News

New measurement firm joins two others that aim to audit performance of metropolitan-scale Wi-Fi networks: Wi-Fi veterans Phil Belanger and Ken Biba today launch Novarum, a firm that will produce 10 reports per quarter on how Wi-Fi networks that span cities and counties measure up. More»

California Law to Require Wi-Fi Warnings

October 19 , 2006
Naomi Graychase , Wi-Fi Planet

On September 30, 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law California Assembly Bill 2415, which will require wireless home networking equipment manufacturers to warn consumers about the dangers of unsecured Wi-Fi networks. The law, dubbed the "Wi-Fi User Protection Bill," is intended to prevent the unauthorized sharing of open Wi-Fi networks… More»

Wireless Foot in Mouth Disease

September 14 , 2006
Gerry Blackwell, Wi-Fi Planet

Cohda Wireless, a new kid on the block from the land down under, is trying to cause a stir in the industry with its oddly negative marketing campaign aimed at the muni-Wi-Fi sector. The lead piece in the campaign is a Web site, The Dirty Little Secret. More»

Ruckus Debuts MetroFlex

July 31 , 2006
A. DeMonte, Red Herring

Ruckus Wireless launches Wi-Fi receiver that promises to boost wireless coverage. Ruckus Wireless on Monday unleashed MetroFlex, a Wi-Fi receiver designed to improve the range and reliability of household networks residing within municipal Wi-Fi networks, amid an equipment market set to sizzle. More»

Ruckus Brings Muni WiFi Home

July 28 , 2006
Mark Sullivan, Light Reading

Expanding on its plans to for home WiFi, Ruckus Wireless Inc. is getting into the metro scene. Ruckus says its new 802.11b/g wireless access gateway product, called MetroFlex, will provide uninterrupted indoor access at better than DSL speeds. The issue of in-home connectivity has become a key challenge for metro WiFi operators. More »

Tropos Plans Better Client Communication

July 13 , 2006
Eric Griffith, Wi-Fi Planet

Tropos Networks — the headline-grabbing mesh networking equipment maker with 300 deployments and counting — knows that the biggest complaint it gets from customers is that client devices (laptops, PDAs and more) just can't connect to the mesh network. More »

Motorola Incorporates Mesh Spec

April 19, 2006
Eric Griffith, Wi-Fi Planet

There are a lot of things standards are supposed to do, but their primary role is to create interoperability between vendors. Nowhere is it more apparent that there's a lack of a standard than in mesh networking using Wi-Fi, where every company has a different way of doing things, whether it's self-configuration of nodes or traffic signal hopping and routing. More »

Belanger on Mesh Standards

March 29, 2006
Glenn Fleishman, Wi-Fi Networking News

Phil Belanger is responsible for Wi-Fi : Not solely, but he's one of the most veteran among industry veterans, and was involved in picking its name. (Note: Wi-Fi really doesn't stand for wireless fidelity or anything at all. Ask Phil.) He co-wrote a document that formed the basis of 802.11, helped found the Wi-Fi Alliance, and served as its first chair. He's worked for many Wi-Fi related firms, including Wayport, Vivato, and BelAir. He recently amicably left BelAir after a decade on Internet time working on startups. As a result, he has been able to catch his breath and reflect a bit. More »