Mesh Networking technology powers many of the largest mobile networks in the world. The technology leverages proven routing techniques originally developed for battlefield communications by the military. The redundant nature of mesh networks is an essential characteristic sought out by for military strategists. By pushing intelligence and decision making to the edge of the network, high performance and scalable broadband networks can be built at very low cost using a mesh net.
Mesh Networking 101
Mesh networking is typically implemented in two basic modes: infrastructure and/or client meshing. To gain the maximum benefit that meshing can offer, both modes need to be supported simultaneously and seamlessly in a single network.
Infrastructure meshing creates wireless backhaul mesh among wired Access Points and Wireless Routers. This reduces system backhaul costs while increasing network coverage and reliability.
Client meshing enables wireless peer-to-peer networks to form between and among client devices (i.e., end users) and does not require any network infrastructure to be present. In this case, clients can hop through each other to reach other clients in the network.
Mesh network technology supports both infrastructure and client meshing. Infrastructure meshing creates a robust and scalable network, while client meshing enables end users to instantly form a broadband wireless network among themselves – with or without the inclusion of network infrastructure. Enabling multiple hops can even turn every client device into a router/repeater. As users join the network they improve network coverage and increase network throughput. Continuous mesh routing in which the simultaneous operation of infrastructure and client meshing is also possible. In this scenario clients can move seamlessly between infrastructure-based and client-based peer-to-peer networks.
Self-forming, self-healing routing intelligence distributes clients between Access Points, eliminating bottlenecks and improving overall network performance. Mesh technology also improves network robustness, as clients can hop to alternate Access Points if their current Access Point is congested or fails. It also lets clients form large, ad hoc peer-to-peer networks anywhere, anytime. Peer-to-peer networking reduces the demand on network Access Points, freeing up capacity for other users. All these capabilities create low-cost, seamless and simple to deploy wireless PAN, LAN or WAN solutions.