Mesh Without Wires

February 9, 2011

How Long Does Mesh Go?

Filed under: Wireless backhaul,Wireless Mesh — kseniacoffman @ 12:08 pm

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.

Long-distance mesh link

Firetide long-distance mesh - S. Korea

long distance mesh

Ground view: mesh node and antenna

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:

By Ksenia Coffman – Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.


  1. Nice distances!

    But in this case mesh has nothing to do with the point to point distance ;).

    Keep up the good work, I love reading your posts.



    Comment by Gregor Vucajnk — February 9, 2011 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  2. Gregor, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    To clarify, mesh (in our case) is built out of virtual point-to-point links, which are combined into a single system in our “distributed virtual switch” architecture. With dual-radio mesh nodes, you can build out your mesh of long-distance links, without sacrificing performance. So you can have mesh with 11, 22, etc. mile links.

    If we are talking of the 50 Mbps bonded point-to-point link that I mentioned, you can cover the same distance with a single-radio product; you’ll be giving up throughput, not distance. If using non-bonded radio configuration (each radio in a dual-radio mesh node operating independently), you can build out a multi-hop topology without throughput degradation. In this configuration (if using parameters of the above 27-mile deployment), you’d get 25 Mbps (all conditions being equal) over multiple hops.

    In summary, our mesh is built out of links – you then “mesh” or “daisy-chain” or “nest” links, depending on the project requirements.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Comment by kseniacoffman — February 9, 2011 @ 2:20 pm | Reply

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