To eliminate the need for expensive repeaters when transmitting around barriers, with the added benefits of expanding network reach and increasing the number of nodes that can communicate with a single base station, Cirronet Inc. has added store-and-forward capability to its WIT910 and WIT2450 OEM modules and HopNet HN-291 and HN-250 standalone modems.

Wireless transceivers are typically networked in star topologies, with a base station communicating directly with each node. When barriers such as large storage tanks or steep hills exist within the network area, repeaters function as intermediaries, forwarding data between the base station and impeded nodes. With the new Cirronet store-and-forward capability, any node with a clear path to both the base station and another node can assume the role of repeater, at far lower cost.

This capability extends network reach; the 20-mile range of the 900 MHz WIT910 and HN-291, and the seven-mile range of the 2.4 GHz WIT2450 and HN-250, can be multiplied by the number of units employed in a store-and-forward link. Latency introduced by this action is negligible for all but the most time-sensitive control applications and occurs during only the first store-and-forward action. Also increased is the number of devices that can communicate with a single base station, from the previous maximum of 62 to a new maximum of 255.