Wireless mesh network architectures: Exploring the advantages

Metro-scale Wi-Fi mesh networks will play a critical role in broadband access due to advantages in their architectural flexibility, application support, and total cost of ownership.

When you talk about wireless technologies in the broadband access network, and specifically in the metro area, discussions tend to focus on such topics and technologies as EV-DO, UMB, UMTS, HSDPA/HSUPA, LTE, and WiMAX. However, it's very important to remember that metro-scale Wi-Fi installations are a critical element in this space.

Metro-scale Wi-Fi meshes have a number of key advantages that we at Farpoint Group believe will have a major impact on service providers and mobile users alike far into the future. The three most important of these are architectural flexibility, application support, and total cost of ownership benefits deriving from the inherent nature of a Wi-Fi-based mesh. The purpose of this report is to explore each of these attributes in some detail, and to illustrate how the architectural strategies used to implement wireless mesh networks can have a profound impact on the performance and financial success of metro-scale wireless mesh deployments.

To read the full report, download this PDF: From applications to ROI: System architecture for wireless meshes

About the author: Craig Mathias is a principal with Farpoint Group, an advisory firm based in Ashland, Mass., specializing in wireless networking and mobile computing. The firm works with manufacturers, enterprises, carriers, government, and the financial community on all aspects of wireless and mobile. He can be reached at craig@farpointgroup.com.

This was first published in July 2007

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