Open Mesh Networks

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Why Open Mesh Networks are beneficial

Mark Cooper:

"The technologies at the heart of the digital revolution are also at the heart of the deployment of open wireless networks in the spectrum commons. The potential spectrum carrying capacity has been the direct beneficiary of the convergence of progress in digital technology and the institutional development of networks. When users add radios that help by cooperating in receiving and forwarding signals, i.e. act as repeaters, carrying capacity of the network increases. Smart nodes get their expanding brainpower from decentralized computational capacity to communicate seam-lessly, utilizing embedded coordination protocols.

Smart technologies in mesh networks cooperating to deliver messages also show the beginning of anti-rivalry characteristics. The ability of each node to receive and transmit messages, even when they are neither the origin nor the destination, expands the capacity of the network. This intelligence is the key to mesh networks’ immense capacity.

The Spectrum Commons in which these networks exist exhibits the characteristic of inclusiveness, since the more nodes on the net-work, the greater the value to users. The denser the nodes in the commons, the greater is the commons’ communications capacity. The combination of digital technology and network organization has turned the old logic on its head; adding users on a mesh network improves performance. Mesh Networks allow devices to share their resources dynamically, allowing more communications to take place with less power.

However, even with new technology, there is still the challenge of how to ensure cooperation among users. Since cooperation is the key to the capacity gain, if users chose not to cooperate, the mesh network will not work. Therefore, more devices are transitioning to “embed coordination” to ensure cooperation. For example, radios become smart by embedding intelligence – algorithms – that take on the functions necessary to transmit a signal after listening to the spectrum and finding available frequencies to use and determining the power necessary." (