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This paper presents a WLAN based next generation wireless mesh testbed, called "MeshBed". The aim of this testbed is to investigate carrier-grade mesh network aspects from network operators point of view. The paper describes in detail the purpose, architecture as well as the features of the MeshBed. In particular, the Operations Support System consisting of monitoring and management tools as well as the integration into next generation network architectures will be discussed. Also the influence of wireless multi-hop communication on delay sensitive applications such as voice over IP (VoIP) is investigated by extensive measurements. It was found that wireless mesh networks are in principle capable of providing good quality support to VoIP applications. However, in highly loaded networks additional mechanisms are necessary to guarantee minimum requirements with respect to quality.