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Current evolutionary work related to radio access networks is moving towards more flexible deployment architectures with lower deployment costs. However, these architectures are still not geared towards supporting broadband services or providing temporary coverage extensions. This paper has introduced an architecture for supporting ad hoc mesh extensions to IP based access networks for the purposes of increasing bandwidth and providing a simple and cost effective means to extend the coverage. The ad hoc mesh extensions are only feasible for certain business models where the ad hoc mesh infrastructure is owned by a single operator i.e. ad hoc meshes of user nodes are only feasible in closed communities where trust issues are not prohibitive. An architectural framework has been outlined that splits the ad hoc mesh problem space into manageable components that can be solved independently. The solutions to the framework aspects can then be slotted together to provide support for ad hoc mesh extensions. The major outstanding issues that need to be addressed to enable this architecture have also been highlighted.
Date of Conference: 25-27 June 2003