Extend Mesh Networks Economically

Extend Mesh Networks Economically


Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) are extending wireless network coverage beyond the home and office to public locations. Considering the increasing demand for Internet connectivity in hospitality, convention, and hotspot environments, these emerging markets have the potential to bring significant revenue to wireless ISPs.

Pepwave Mesh Connector extends wireless connectivity in a flexible and cost effective way. Utilizing existing hotspots, it allows WISPs to seamlessly extend Wi-Fi coverage in hard to reach areas. Installing Mesh Connector devices decreases the cost of deploying a reliable wireless network, while meeting the increasing requirements for high speed and easy access wireless service.

Context and Challenges

As multiple simultaneous customers attempt to utilize the Wi-Fi network service, the ability to control the network access of individual customers becomes necessary.

Illustration: MAC address identification issue caused by 802.11 protocol limitations

However, today's wireless 802.11 standards have a known issue with presenting the correct MAC address of a client. When multiple clients connect to the network through a Wi-Fi modem, all clients appear to have the MAC address of the Wi-Fi modem, instead of their true unique MAC address. As a result, the Access Gateway is unable to correctly control user authentication.

The Solution: Pepwave True Address Gateway and Mesh Connector

TAG allows WISPs to extend seamless wireless coverage without compromising access control. TAG restores network access control integrity by solving the MAC address identification issue. Coupled with Mesh Connector, TAG provides an integrated solution which allows WISPs to control the network access of each individual end-user. Since TAG interfaces with the Access Gateway, it is an easy to deploy and cost effective solution that makes use of existing network infrastructure.

Illustration: How Pepwave True Address Gateway and Mesh Connector solve the problem

In this example TAG and Mesh Connector provide an integrated solution to extend wireless coverage, while maintaining authentication integrity.

How It Works

  1. Mesh Connector devices wirelessly connect to the Mesh network, as TAG interfaces with the centralized Access Gateway.
  2. Mesh Connector devices collect and send user IP and MAC address information to the TAG.
  3. TAG provides instantaneous MAC Address translation and restores the users true MAC addresses for their respective network packets.
  4. TAG and Mesh Connector enable the Access Gateway to identify the true MAC addresses of individual users.
  5. As a result, WISPs are able to control the access of their customers.