Mesh networks could be ‘the end game,’ says APCO presenter
MONTREAL–While a variety of wireless broadband technology platforms move rapidly along the evolutionary curve, one platform holds greater promise than all others. So says Tony Klinkert, general manager of Klinkert and Associates, a Richardson, Texas-based wireless broadband engineering firm.
“Mesh networks might be the end game,” Klinkert said, adding that mesh networks—such as those being produced by Tropos Networks, NexGen City and Mesh Networks—are particularly attractive because they emulate the best aspects of the Internet.
Mesh networks—also known as ad hoc or peer-to-peer networks—currently are benefiting from several trends, Klinkert said. For starters, base stations are coming down in height, which plays to the mesh network architecture, which relies on nodes that are affixed to light poles and street lamps to transmit data, and in some instances, voice. “Low-tier networks are the future,” Klinkert said.
Mesh networks also emulate the Internet in that they are robust and survivable, Klinkert said. “If you do it right, they should be the end game.”
But doing it right isn’t a slam-dunk certainty, according to Klinkert, as there is danger in deploying too many nodes.
“You have to be careful,” he said. “Too many nodes results in too many hops, and that will degrade the signal. The result is latency that could make things like video surveillance difficult to accomplish.”