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This article presents an in-depth introduction and analysis of the low-data-rate portion of the IEEE standard 802.15.5 that targets on providing mesh capabilities to low-rate wireless personal area networks. As major contributors of this standard, we seek to share our insights and motivations of the approaches adopted in the major components of the standard instead of presenting a la carte items drawn in the specification. We wish this article helps readers of the 802.15.5 standard to better understand the rationale and intent of the protocol design. This article also compares 802.15.5 to ZigBeetrade and 6LoWPAN, for users to select the best mesh network technology for their applications.