If you have been following the mesh debate, also reported by WiFi NetNews, between Francis daCosta (MeshDynamics), Sascha Meinrath (CUWiN) and Narasimha Chari (Tropos Networks), you might want to read Francis daCosta’s rebuttal, Why Structured Mesh is Different (pdf). Jim Thompson has his own opinion, too, (as always).
Francis daCosta’s paper explains the differences between MeshDynamics products and other mesh vendors’ offerings.
The Company’s unique, multi-radio backhaul technology is the key. All competing mesh systems use the same basic technology for the backhaul path — a 1-radio ad hoc mesh where all radios, by definition, must be on the same channel to talk with one another. Only MeshDynamics has a multi-radio, multi-channel backhaul.
It forms what we call a Structured Mesh(TM) — a tree-like structure that resembles a wired switch stack. All the channels are dynamically allocated automatically. Systems built with Structured Mesh will scale to large deployments and the overall deployment cost is lowest since few external backhaul connections are required.
Mesh functionality, where each node is a router, is or will be a part of 802.16 (WiMax), 802.15.3 (WiMedia) and 802.11 (Wi-Fi) wireless standards. Examples of mesh network gear include BelAir Networks, Firetide, Mesh Networks, RoamAD, SkyPilot, Strix, and Tropos.
Can mesh networks scale? Research papers and a clutter-free band help, but implementing real-world metropolitan-scale networks is the real test.