A mesh network is a local network topology where the infrastructure nodes connect directly, dynamically and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate to efficiently route data from/to clients. The lack of dependency on one node allows every node to take part in relaying information. This makes mesh networks extremely resilient, as they constantly look for new paths, rerouting links to ensure that any network failure is resolved without impacting the overall network efficiency. Mesh networks are highly scalable, allowing for both traffic and area covered to change in response to network growth.
As the result of a single point of access, mesh networks benefit from better coverage and minimal dead zones or not-spots. Network set up is easy to configure as nodes automatically reconfigure connections. The downside to mesh networks is the slower speeds achievable as every ‘hop’ can increase delays.
Radio planning mesh networks can be divided into three main tasks: dimensioning the mesh node distribution to achieve the required coverage; analysing the links of the mesh nodes to optimise the dynamic routing and ensure demand throughput; backhauling the gateways (microwave links).
Successful network planning relies on the cartography used. Planners need to decide whether to use medium-resolution and high-resolution datasets or a hybrid of the two. Costs need to be balanced against the overall value of the different map resolutions and planners must make choices about how they impact the project.
ATDI has a library of map data from around the globe, which is available to all customers with a valid maintenance contract. This includes LiDAR data, which provides data sets sub-1m resolution and benefits from both surface and terrain elevation points. These high-resolution datasets provide precise modelling with sharp blockages.