802.11n and Indoor MeshBy CWNP On 11/05/2007 - 16 Comments
I was just sitting here reflecting on 802.11 indoor mesh networks. The main problem with using mesh nodes (those APs that are connected to the network wirelessly) is the degraded throughput for client stations. When stations transmit to the mesh node, it has to repeat the traffic to its upstream mesh node. This continues until the traffic arrives at the mesh portal - an AP connected to the wired infrastruture.
This kind of multi-hop scenario is bandwidth intensive, yet very flexible for deploying APs in locations where power is available, but Ethernet cabling is not (for whatever reason). With 802.11n, we have enough actual throughput (after you consider all of the overhead of protection mechanisms and such) to still get significantly high throughput even when repeating. I see 802.11n being the driving factor behind indoor mesh going forward. They are very complimentary technologies, most especially when the client stations are only a/b/g.