Every now and then we get questions on the distances Firetide mesh equipment can provide.
So how long can mesh go?
Even though many of our projects are in urban settings, with link distances ranging from 1/4 mile to 2 miles, mesh is being deployed in rural and remote settings, where link distances of 3-6 miles are fairly common.
One of the farthest links I came across in our deployments was a 35-km (21.7 miles) shot in South Korea. The link is part of the project with KT (Korea Telecom) to provide internet to residents of remote islands. This particular link is from Daecheon city to Ho-do island.
Parabolic antennas are recommended for long-distance links. This link above uses (what looks like) a 2-ft dish.
In the US, the longest link that I’m aware of was for a temporary installation at a government facility. I do not have pictures of the install, since this was a secure site: no picture taking allowed. The link used dual-radio mesh nodes in bonded mode for a point-to-point connection, achieving 50 Mbps UDP throughput over 27 miles, with 3-ft dish antennas. (Note that this deployment used our non-MIMO mesh series.) The link was in operation for 1 year.
For another long-distance mesh project (11-mile links), see Firetide Wireless Mesh Brings Rural Korean Communities Into the Network Fold.
For more discussion on mesh technology, see:
- When Wireless Video Mesh is Not ‘True’ Mesh (But Better)
- Layer 2 vs Layer 3 in Wireless Mesh: Do You Have to Choose?
- Technology Behind Wireless Infrastructure Mobility
- Questions and Answers on Firetide Wireless Mesh: From Obscure to Common