Mesh networking has its roots in military applications but is beginning to move into the civilian arena. It lets users of mobile devices create self-forming and self-healing wireless networks that can reach beyond the range of established wireless hot spots. The technology has potential applications ranging from enterprises to home entertainment, for delivering data, video, voice and location information.
The technology can be applied to many different types of wireless networks layered on top of the particular radio standard in use. This could be an ideal way to deploy Wi-Fi across a metropolitan area. Rather than having to invest in a DSL connection or T-1 approximately every 300 feet just to provide Wi-Fi coverage, a service provider could buy just a few wired connections and add in more as customers joined and usage grew.