The Core IndraNet Technology comprises four main elements:
* The Network Architecture. This addresses the question: “how to develop and deploy a broadband wireless communication network in the most-cost effective and resilient way possible.” IndraNet’s answer is the fractal mesh network architecture outlined below.
The Operating Systems, Methods and Protocols. This addresses the questions of routing and management of networks. IndraNet has learned the lessons (positive and negative) from the Internet. Its answers are derived from Internet experience, in particular IPv6, and supported by a stable Linux-based operating systems.
* The Network Equipment. This addresses the questions of interface with end users and economies of scale. IndraNet’s networks comprise equipment called “minders” that are at once, communication terminals, routers, advanced computers, and that carry on premises management functions such as security, power supply, distribution, management and trading. The family of minders embody various forms of wireless transmission and advanced computing technologies that will enable bandwidth to increase over the next few years from the present 2Mb/s per node up to over 2 Gb/s, and processing speeds to over 1,000 times the speed of a top-of-the-range PC for a range of applications.
* The Network Deployment, Management, and Maintenance Business Models and Methods. This addresses the issues of accelerated market diffusion and development and focuses on the operating ventures called IndraNet Agencies that deploy manage and maintain IndraNet Networks, under joint venture, franchise and licensing agreements.
At the core of the IndraNet technology are a unique tridimensional fractal mesh network architecture and a set of operations protocols that enable key problems faced by wireless communication networks to be solved and that addresses the global emerging market demands for massive increases in broadband communications.
Figure 1 â€“ Schematic of the IndraNet Fractal Mesh Network Architecture
In Figure 1 the location of the IndraNet communication devices (the minders) is indicated by the enso circles in the IndraNet logo. The IndraNet system comprises three categories of devices: minder, metaminder and hyper minder. Metaminders and hyperminders are being designed to have longer transmission ranges, and hyperminders substantially more memory storage capacity. Hyperminders are intended to connect to long distance backbone networks. Figure 1 shows the minder, metaminder and hyper minder layers and examples of connections, one between minders A and B using two layers, and another between C and a backbone link. All devices interact cooperatively. No layer controls another. Except for interconnects with other types of communication networks, all devices can be located on end-user premises.
Broadband wireless networks such as those using radio-modems for fast Internet access and IP-phones are proven technology. A number of commercial services have emerged over the last decade, in particular in the US. The main problem is that these networks are generally small and not easily scalable to hundreds of thousands, let alone millions of users in any one area.
Wireless mesh networks face four main technological challenges:
* Congestion: in a large flat mesh network (comprising only one layer), about 1% of nodes will end up carrying 90% of the traffic.
* Latency: this problem often manifests itself to the end-user as excessively long gaps between the moment they speak and the moment their voice reaches the other party. This is due to the signal having to make too many hops around the network to reach its destination.
* Signal-to-noise ratio: this is comparable to what happens at a party. When there are only a few guests, the noise level is low and everyone can chat easily and be heard. As more guests arrive, the noise level increases and everyone must speak up. The louder they speak and the more guests arrive, the more noise is generated, until the only way one can be heard is by shouting into their neighbour’s ear.
* Scalability: not only must networks be scalable to very large numbers of users and remain flexible at low cost, they also must be able to link each of the dozens of electronic devices increasingly used by customers to thousands or millions of other such devices across the network. At present no state-of-the-art technology is capable of this feat in a cost-effective way.
IndraNet has developed a mesh network architecture that, combined with advanced wireless broadband technology, has the potential to solve the above problems and open the way to very low cost broadband communications. The IndraNet architecture is:
* Quasi-random: the nodes of the mesh network are distributed where people live and/or work. Mathematically, this defines the network as a “small world”. Small world networks are neither fully random nor fully ordered. For example, the world of film actors is a small world: each actor is a few handshakes away from a given famous Hollywood actor. Well tuned small world networks minimize the number of hops between two participating users;
* Layered: the mesh is at least three dimensional, that is to say made of a number of network layers of increasingly larger average mesh size (see Figure 1);
* Non-Hierarchical: the layers do not define a hierarchy. There are no central, regional or local command points. The Internet is the forerunner of this particular feature. The network is self-routing and self-managing; and
* Fractal: the network is self-similar at all layers.
The IndraNet Core technology, and in particular the IndraNet Network Architecture are unique and protected internationally through a series of patents presently pending in a series of judiciously selected countries representing about 80% of the global potential market. The PCT Patent Examiners have accepted all of IndraNet’s 49 claims as having novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability.