Many people’s idea of a Mediterranean paradise, Grimaud is a town in the Var department in southeastern France, just a few kilometers from the famous city of Saint-Tropez. Indeed, the Gulf of Saint-Tropez on which both towns lie, was known as the Gulf of Grimaud until the end of the 19th century.
Along with the sun and the sea, a subtle blend of nature and culture come together to make Grimaud a perfect mix between traditional village and a popular tourist destination. On the Gulf itself, Port Grimaud, built in the 1960s by architect François Spoerry, is today the largest marina in the French Riviera.
The village is dominated by its partially restored 11th century castle, standing guard over the surrounding countryside all the way to the Gulf. The highest point for miles around, the castle doesn’t only dominate the landscape for centuries but also plays a crucial role today for tourist as a symbol of the city.
From his office at the Town Hall, Jimmy Gallet manages the communications network for the municipality of Grimaud, including the telephone system, internet connections and video surveillance at some vulnerable sites to prevent crime. The main network is based in the Town Hall, but the castle acts as a relay station so that the Police Station, the school, Tourist Information, local government offices and other buildings can communicate with each other without having a direct physical line of sight between them. “I fixed the main antennas at the castle,” says Mister Gallet. “As the highest point in the area it is a great vantage point for radio communications across the whole town, right down to Port Grimaud, which is eight kilometers away.”
Jimmy Gallet took the job four years ago when all the municipal buildings had their own incoming telephone lines. There was one Fluidmesh antenna providing the video surveillance service. “This was working well,” he says, “so I thought I would expand the project and make some money saving for the administration at the same time.”
Telephone and data communications in the town of Grimaud are now served by a single internet subscription, with signals bounced up to the main antenna at the castle and rerouted to their destinations from there. With a high bandwidth connection from the service provider, Mister Gallet can provide a telephone (IPBX), LAN and internet service to all the municipal buildings, saving about 30 per cent of the cost of the previous telephone network. He can now provide a 50Mbps connection to the Youth Center, for instance, instead of the 8Mbps available to that part of town with the previous cabled connection.
Each service can be virtually separated from the other thanks to three different VLANs, fully supported by the Fluidmesh radios. The VoIP (Voice Over IP), data and video traffic is all managed on the same network, which could potentially cause congestion and give poor results, but the Fluidmesh radios handle the data through a QoS (Quality of Service) approach. VoIP calls, which need to be in real time and with low latency, are given the highest priority and the other services follow sequentially.
The architecture employs nearly all of the Fluidmesh portfolio for fixed infrastructure, starting with the FM1200 VOLO, through to the FM 3200 BASE station which allows wider Point to Multipoint coverage with its 120deg antenna, and also includes the FM1300 OTTO high throughput, long distance point to point connection.
“I already knew Fluidmesh and our original system worked very well,” explains Mister Gallet,”. We had excellent support throughout the project, from the design phase to the installation and commissioning, which is quite straightforward thanks to intuitive, integrated tools such as FMQuadro, the spectrum analyzer and the antenna alignment tool. We’re very pleased with the results.”