mesh networking

There's 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11i, 802.11n, and a bunch of other IEEE wireless LAN standards you don't hear about much, but now Intel has introduced a proposal for 802.11s, which is reserved for mesh networking. Mesh networking has been around for years, but the basic idea is that instead of the current hub-and-spoke model of wireless communications, with every device connecting to a central access point, with mesh networking every device in the area acts as a repeater or router, relaying traffic for everyone else. Whenever you have mesh-enabled devices in close proximity to each other they automatically create a wireless mesh network, and traffic hops from device to device until it reaches the nearest Internet access point, reducing the need for central antennas, and improving wireless coverage. Intel's proposal is for interoperable standard for 802.11s that would be built on top of and be compatible with the current 802.11a/b/g standards and be designed so that nodes could automatically discover each other and form mesh networks, as well as for "Mesh Portals" that would be able to connect to regular 802.11 networks. They also want to build into the 802.11s protocol quality of service standards so that the network would know what traffic to prioritize if you were streaming video around a home network. Sounds pretty fresh, right? Yeah, well the IEEE hopes to have a standard for 802.11s ratified by 2008.

[Via Slashdot]

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Get ready for 802.11s -- Intel proposes mesh networking standard