Wireless Outdoor Networking

Answered Question
Jun 16th, 2009

Hi Guys,

I have been doing a fair bit of work with indoor wireless networking. I was wondering if I could ask a couple of questions about outdoor wireless networks if I may :).

1. Wireless Mesh Networking. Is this really a solution to interconnect buildings over wireless with point-to-point connectivity?

2. How does a service provider like "the cloud" provide access over an area with wireless connectivity for end users? What kind of wireless network design would be employed here? Would they just have lots of APs in shopping malls that you would have like an indoor network, and how do they get the service coverage in open spaces, like roads, parks etc etc.

I am looking for info on both types of outdoor networks. Point to point only to connect buildings and flooding SSIDs within a large outdoor area in which customers can connect?

Can anyone help me, as this is a very interesting subject.

Also, have I got the term correct. A wireless Mesh network is for point to point wireless networks?

Many thx indeed,

Ken

I have this problem too.
0 votes
Correct Answer by jeff.kish about 7 years 5 months ago

Hi Ken,

Wireless Mesh is a different concept altogether, and it's really not intended to be used as a point-to-point bridge. Mesh is a way to deploy access points in an outdoor space or anywhere that's difficult to run a LAN cable to. This AP will use the 2.4GHz band for client connectivity, and it will send all backhaul traffic across the 5GHz link to another AP. As long as the 5GHz backhaul eventually finds a Mesh AP that is connected to the Ethernet network, it will have connectivity.

One of the best uses for Mesh is for large parking lots. You can mount an AP on a light pole, but you'd never want to run an Ethernet cable all the way out there. Instead, you'd use a Mesh AP and have the 5GHz radio pointed back at your office building, where another Mesh AP is plugged into the local network. So now your clients/customers can connect wirelessly to the AP in the parking lot, and the parking lot AP sends this data wirelessly to your building.

It's called Mesh because you can have a literal mesh of APs scattered across large regions, some of which are connected to the network, others of which are isolated with wireless backhauls. Cisco runs a proprietary algorithm for calculating the best path for traffic to flow to get to an AP with a network connection.

As for your question about a "cloud" company, it all depends on the design. You can install indoor APs that connect to antennas outside, and these can connect your clients. Mesh can be a better solution, but sometimes it's not needed when only small areas need to be covered. Plus, Mesh is far more expensive than a traditional design, especially since it requires wireless LAN controllers. But as for large areas like you're talking, such as roads and parks, Mesh is certainly the best way to go.

I hope that's more of what you're looking for. Let me know if you have any more questions!

Jeff

Correct Answer by Leo Laohoo about 7 years 5 months ago

Wireless Mesh Networking. Is this really a solution to interconnect buildings over wireless with point-to-point connectivity?

If it's a line-of-sight, you can choose from a variety of directional antennae from the links below:

Cisco Aironet Antennas and Accessories Reference Guide

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps7183/ps469/product_data_sheet09186a008008883b.html

Cisco Aironet 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Antennas and Accessories

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps7183/ps469/product_data_sheet09186a008022b11b.html

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Correct Answer
Leo Laohoo Tue, 06/16/2009 - 14:15

Wireless Mesh Networking. Is this really a solution to interconnect buildings over wireless with point-to-point connectivity?

If it's a line-of-sight, you can choose from a variety of directional antennae from the links below:

Cisco Aironet Antennas and Accessories Reference Guide

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps7183/ps469/product_data_sheet09186a008008883b.html

Cisco Aironet 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Antennas and Accessories

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps7183/ps469/product_data_sheet09186a008022b11b.html

kfarrington Wed, 06/17/2009 - 06:18

Thanks Leo for the response. This is great information. I will look into this for p2p links :)

Many thx mate,

en

Correct Answer
jeff.kish Wed, 06/17/2009 - 05:43

Hi Ken,

Wireless Mesh is a different concept altogether, and it's really not intended to be used as a point-to-point bridge. Mesh is a way to deploy access points in an outdoor space or anywhere that's difficult to run a LAN cable to. This AP will use the 2.4GHz band for client connectivity, and it will send all backhaul traffic across the 5GHz link to another AP. As long as the 5GHz backhaul eventually finds a Mesh AP that is connected to the Ethernet network, it will have connectivity.

One of the best uses for Mesh is for large parking lots. You can mount an AP on a light pole, but you'd never want to run an Ethernet cable all the way out there. Instead, you'd use a Mesh AP and have the 5GHz radio pointed back at your office building, where another Mesh AP is plugged into the local network. So now your clients/customers can connect wirelessly to the AP in the parking lot, and the parking lot AP sends this data wirelessly to your building.

It's called Mesh because you can have a literal mesh of APs scattered across large regions, some of which are connected to the network, others of which are isolated with wireless backhauls. Cisco runs a proprietary algorithm for calculating the best path for traffic to flow to get to an AP with a network connection.

As for your question about a "cloud" company, it all depends on the design. You can install indoor APs that connect to antennas outside, and these can connect your clients. Mesh can be a better solution, but sometimes it's not needed when only small areas need to be covered. Plus, Mesh is far more expensive than a traditional design, especially since it requires wireless LAN controllers. But as for large areas like you're talking, such as roads and parks, Mesh is certainly the best way to go.

I hope that's more of what you're looking for. Let me know if you have any more questions!

Jeff

kfarrington Wed, 06/17/2009 - 06:17

Jeff, That is exacly what I was looking for. Many thanks for an excellent and clear response.

Cool Stuff. Now I know, I shall look at the options :))

Kind regards,

Ken

tomathur Sat, 06/27/2009 - 14:18

Hi Ken,

Although Jeff answered the query beautifully in full detail, i wish to add something.

When you have a mesh network, some nodes (as APs are termed in a mesh network)are connected to a wired network. Some nodes simply act as repeaters. A mesh node(AP) repeats data to nearby nodes. More than one path is available, so a special algorithm is used to determine the best path. The alternative paths can be used when there is congestion or when a wireless mesh node goes down.

kfarrington Mon, 06/29/2009 - 22:41

Many thx for the help. There is a routing protocol correct for this correct? Wireless Path Protocol. Any captures, protocol details? I will have a look myself :)

Kind regards,

Ken

kfarrington Mon, 06/29/2009 - 22:41

Many thx for the help. There is a routing protocol correct for this correct? Wireless Path Protocol. Any captures, protocol details? I will have a look myself :)

Kind regards,

Ken

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