Mesh technology enabling ubiquitous wireless networks: invited paper

Abstract

Today's wireless networking technology provides high data rates. With IEEE 802.11n products, data rates beyond 500<sup>Mb</sup>/<inf>s</inf> are soon feasible for <i>Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)</i>. Due to a standstill in standardization the project IEEE 802.15.3a it was disbanded in 2006. Companies are pushing therefore their own solutions to the <i>Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN)</i> market. Shortly, 480<sup>Mb</sup>/<inf>s</inf> will be available for WPAN applications. For large scale networks, IEEE 802.16 (aka <i>Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX)</i>) offers a solution for the <i>Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (WMAN)</i> market. Besides point-to-point connections, IEEE 802.16e supports mobile connections too. With recent development, wireless technology for ubiquitous connections is available in the market. Sensitive <i>Modulation and Coding Schemes (MCSs), Multiple Input/Multiple Output (MIMO)</i> and other new <i>Physical Layer (PHY)</i> technologies provide high data rates. However, upcoming wireless technology does not increase coverage. Like preceding standards, highest data rate is only available for short range communication. Therefore, supply of large areas with high speed connections demands dense installation of backbone connected devices. While <i>Capital Expenditure (CAPEX)</i> for hardware is low, deployment is expensive. The <i>Operational Expenditure (OPEX)</i> of wired and fiber optic networks is high. Furthermore they are not as widely deployed as needed for dense installation of connection points to the core network. Hence, rollout of high speed wireless networks is delayed until a solution is provided. Relay based deployment and Mesh topology for wireless networks helps to overcome the cost barrier. With this meshing functionality, wireless networks of the IEEE 802 standard family are a promising low-cost alternative to cellular <i>Third-Generation (3G)</i> networks In this paper we provide insight to current activities of <i>Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (IEEE) Working Groups (WGs)</i> regarding Mesh technology. Furthermore we show possibilities and limitations of <i>Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs)</i>.

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