Allen Marsalis wrote:

I take it that nobody has ever built a 900MHz NLOS mesh network before. Which is not a good sign to me. That's a sign that my idea probably won't work.....

I'd be very skeptical just because of what I lovingly call the "Tropos Effect."

Obviously, all these nodes eventually have to come back to... somewhere that has a big bad Internet connection. Your office, a central tower, whatever. If you're near that tower, you don't have much of a problem, as your laptop is talking to a node that's talking directly to that point of origin. If you're a few blocks away, where your laptop talks to a node that's two or three hops away, there's cumulative bandwidth loss and added latency, and just more things that can go wrong generally.

Your proposal gets rid of the worst part of how Tropos does things. They use the same radio both for inter-node communication and for customers, same SSID, same everything; by using separate radios for backhaul and customer access, you're already coming out ahead.

There will still be added overhead and latency, the more nodes you have to go through, and the folks at the farthest reaches of the network won't have as good an experience as the folks close to your point of origin.

I'm a bit skeptical. The expense of 900MHz gear, and the sheer number of units you'd need to for a wide coverage area, makes this seem like a really difficult idea to pull off. Nevertheless, I wish you luck, if you do choose to deploy something like that.

David Smith
MVN.net
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