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802.11s started as a Study Group of IEEE 802.11 in September 2003. It became a Task Group in July 2004. A call for proposals was issued in May 2005, which resulted in the submission of 15 proposals submitted to a vote in July 2005. After a series of eliminations and mergers, the proposals dwindled to two (the "SEE-Mesh" and "Wi-Mesh" proposals), which became a joint proposal in January 2006. This merged proposal was accepted as draft D0.01 after a unanimous confirmation vote in March 2006.

The draft evolved through informal comment resolution until it was submitted for a Letter Ballot in November 2006 as Draft D1.00. The Letter Ballot failed to reach the necessary 75% approval.

The draft as of March 2007 is D1.00. The Task Group is active resolving comments submitted on draft D1.00 during the previous Letter Ballot.

802.11 mesh architecture[edit]

Devices in an 802.11s mesh network are labelled as Mesh Points (MP). They form mesh links with one another, over which mesh paths can be established using a routing protocol. 802.11s defines a default mandatory routing protocol (Hybrid Wireless Mesh Protocol, or HWMP), yet allows vendors to operate using alternate protocols, one of which is described in the draft (Radio Aware Optimized Link State Routing). HWMP is inspired by a combination of AODV (RFC 3561[1] ) and tree-based routing, while RA-OLSR is based on OLSR (RFC 3626[2]).

MPs can be individual devices using mesh services to communicate with other devices in the network. They can also be 802.11 Access Points (APs) and provide access to the mesh network to STAs, which have broad market availability. Also, MPs can take the role of a gateway and provide access to one or more 802.3 networks through a Mesh Portal. In both cases, 802.11s provides a proxy mechanism to provide addressing support for non-mesh 802 devices, allowing for end-points to be cognizant of external addresses.

802.11s also includes mechanisms to provide deterministic network access, congestion control and power save.


While still in a preliminary development stage, the 802.11s draft is supported by a wide variety of industry leaders. The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)[3] project will use the 802.11s networking standard for its laptops.


  1. ^ "RFC 3561 Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector (AODV) Routing". Mobile Ad Hoc Networking Working Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force. July 2003. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  2. ^ "RFC 3626 Optimized Link State Routing Protocol (OLSR)". Mobile Ad Hoc Networking Working Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force. October 2003. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  3. ^ "One Laptop per Child". Retrieved 2007-03-10. 

See also[edit]