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We present the protocol for unified multicasting through announcements (PUMA) in ad-hoc networks, which establishes and maintains a shared mesh for each multicast group, without requiring a unicast routing protocol or the preassignment of cores to groups. PUMA achieves a high data delivery ratio with very limited control overhead, which is almost constant for a wide range of network conditions. Using simulations in Qualnet 3.5, we compare PUMA with ODMRP and MAODV, which are representatives of mesh-based and tree-based multicast routing in ad hoc networks. The results from a wide range of scenarios of varying mobility, group members, number of senders, traffic load, and number of multicast groups show that PUMA attains higher packet delivery ratios than ODMRP and MAODV, while incurring far less control overhead.