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What is Mesh?


Mesh technology enhances the network architecture upon which the Internet is founded and makes it mobile. Having evolved from technology developed for military communications, mesh is proven, robust and secure, offering a self-forming, self-healing and self-balancing routing solution that allows wireless devices to become the network.

Mesh Enabled Architecture (MEA) networks leverage existing applications and mobile devices, supporting an end-to-end IP strategy.  They can be deployed cost-effectively and rapidly as no conventional network infrastructure is required – every device becomes part of the network, helping to relay signals from one point to another and forming a peer-to-peer mesh of wireless broadband coverage.

The multi-point to multi-point network seamlessly adapts to accommodate new users, routing packets of data between devices.  Because the devices themselves serve as relay stations and routers, the more devices are added to the network, the more efficient it becomes.  Unlike point-to-point networks, it's self-healing: if a device fails, the network will route the signal around it.

Devices discover, build and maintain their own routing tables in real time, allowing users to expand the network whenever they need to.  The multi-hopping routing process moves network capacity to where it's needed, eliminating the need for radio masts and maximising use of the frequency spectrum.

MEA networks can operate in either the 2.4 GHz ISM band or the 4.9 GHz band and are highly resistant to radio frequency interference.  Their multi-hopping capability allows dynamic frequency re-use, leading to high capacity and efficient use of the frequency spectrum.  Even using the shared-spectrum 2.4 GHz band, a high level of immunity to interference is achieved – even in urban environments.

Four hardware and software elements create the MEA network: a wireless modem card which is included  in many existing devices such as laptops and PCs; a mesh wireless router that can be mounted on traffic or street lights to provide line-of-sight communications with mobile devices or for in-building applications; a low- cost Intelligent Access Point (IAP) which communicates with the wireless router and acts as the transition point from the wireless MEA network to the wired Internet and Public Switched Telephone Network; and a Mobile Internet Switching Controller that provides routing, switching and management functions for the MEA network.

Each IAP supports burst data rates of up to 6 Mbps, with average speeds of 300kbps to 1.5 Mpbs for data and remote video.

Real-time tracking of responders using built-in position location technology – that does not rely on GPS – allows the location of assets, vehicles and personnel to be displayed automatically on any computer, improving safety and efficiency.  

The system allows instant multimedia communications from moving vehicles and has been shown to function at speeds in excess of 200 kilometres per hour.

Mesh networks offer the bandwidth needed to support voice, data and video-intensive devices simultaneously, while meeting the need for wide area connectivity to fixed, portable and mobile devices.  

The technology is ideally suited for emergency response and law enforcement agencies, intelligent transportation systems and organisations that need to track mobile assets in real time, such as the transportation of cash or valuable goods.

Related Link: http://www.motorola.com/mesh/


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