Motorola yesterday announced that its MeshConnex networking technology will support the 802.11s meshing standard being developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

IEEE earlier this year announced the establishment of an 802.11s draft standard, which could undergo changes before being finalized as early as next year. Motorola will update its MeshConnex technology—at the core of the company’s mesh products—to mirror work at the standards body, said Peter Stanforth, director of technology for Motorola’s mesh-networks product group.

As it does get tweaked, we’ll be able to make enhancements and release modified versions that will be over-the-air downgradable to people,” he said. “We’re committing to people that, from now going forward, we’ll stay consistent with that standard.”

Certainly the best-known Motorola mesh product is its MotoMesh networking package that features two 802.11-compliant radios—one operating at 2.4 GHz and another at 4.9 GHz—and two of Motorola’s proprietary MEA radios that enable ad-hoc meshing. Although MeshConnex is used in the MEA networks, devices that use 802.11s-compliant radios from other manufacturers will not be able to operate on those networks, Stanforth said.

“The physical radio in the MEA system is not compliant with the standard, but the MAC layer, the routing, the IP stack and everything else is,” Stanforth said. “The physical layer isn’t [standards compliant] because mission-critical markets need mobility and/or very robust radios that off-the-shelf 802.11 radios can’t support.

“We offer solutions that are 100% standards compliant, as well as solutions that are proprietary, because—in some markets—the standards solutions don’t have the capabilities we need,” Stanforth said.