In a mesh network, the mesh access points( MAP) represent the connection nodes of the individual radio cells. The individual radio cells are interconnected via the mesh APs, which forward the data from one mesh access point to the next.
Mesh APs can receive and send messages and act as routers or relays for the next mesh AP. Messages are forwarded from one mesh AP to the next via redundant connections, as in the Internet or in peer-to-peer networks, until they reach the target stations. If a radio link fails or becomes congested, the mesh network automatically uses an alternate route.
A mesh AP, the gateway MAP, connects the mesh network to the corporate network, the fixed network or the Internet. For their operation, the mesh access points only need their own power supply, either from the power grid or via solar cells.
The mesh access points inform each other about their wireless neighbors, the mobile devices they can reach, and whether they are acting as a gateway MAP and are connected to the fixed network. For routing between the mesh access points, they use the Hybrid Wireless Mesh Protocol( HWMP).