Connectivity has become the currency of competitive advantage for leading cities and utilities to enable the Internet of Important Things™. Cities, utilities and businesses worldwide are connecting intelligent sensors and devices to drive operational efficiencies, improve service delivery and enhance quality of life for residents. While there are a range of network technology options to consider, mesh networks offer clear advantages compared with traditional star-based networks, such as cellular and Wi-Fi.
In a star network, every endpoint must have a line of sight to a base station. This approach can work well for connecting mobile devices; however, it is not well suited for high-value, critical infrastructure applications. Star networks are inflexible and cannot adapt to changing environments. For example, environmental factors such as urban development can block communications. Thus, black spots are common, making it impossible for stranded endpoints to communicate with the base station. Achieving complete coverage would require significantly more network infrastructure.
Mesh networks are different.
In a mesh network, all devices can communicate with their neighbors. This provides a variety of advantages that make mesh networks uniquely suited for delivering the robust, reliable connectivity the utilities and cities require.
- Reliability: Mesh networks provide superior quality of service, enabling >99.9% coverage across urban or remote topographies.
- Robustness: Mesh devices form multiple, redundant connection paths with peers, so they actually grow stronger and more resilient as new devices are added.
- Flexibility: Mesh networks are self-forming and self-healing, which enables devices to find peers to “see” around corners and adapt to local outages.
- Extensibility: Mesh networks are modular, providing the ability to layer on applications as operational needs require.
- Efficiency: Mesh devices can communicate at the network edge to enable distributed intelligence and rapid peer-to-peer communication for advanced applications.
With these fundamental advantages, mesh networks provide the ideal solution for connecting high-value, long-lived critical infrastructure assets. Check out the video below for more information on the advantages of our Wi-SUN mesh.