Cisco is looking to reinforce its wireless IoT portfolio by acquiring Fluidmesh Networks for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2005 by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Polytechnic University of Milan, the firm specializes in wireless backhaul technology to support enterprise class video, voice, and data connectivity in large-scale distributed sites where signal strength can be challenging.

Cisco said once the acquisition closes, it will meld Fluidmesh’s products into its own industrial wireless family. 

Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Cloud, Compute, and IoT, cited a number of applications the Cisco/Fluidmesh combination would target including:

  • Building high-speed and reliable connectivity between the trains and the trackside eliminating potential gaps in data transfer even when traveling at high speeds.
  • Improving worker safety with ultra-reliable communication systems for remote operations of mining equipment, eliminating the need to send workers into potentially hazardous environments
  • Increasing productivity with autonomously moving robots in manufacturing settinngs that operate on a resilient and low-latency wireless network.

“While most wireless solutions work well for slow moving objects (<30km/h), Fluidmesh’s technology is designed to provide zero loss of data transfer at speeds in excess of 300 Km/h,” Centoni wrote in a blog detailing the acquisition.  “Beyond high speed rail, numerous industries from manufacturing, oil & gas and mining, to shipping ports, are all looking at how they can use wireless connectivity to automate operations in an effort to reduce operational costs.”

Cisco and Fluidmesh have teamed up in the past to support Wi-Fi on trains. 

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