It simply extends the coverage of short-range radio while preserving the wireless bandwidth in real-time. The OPM (Opportunistic Wireless Mesh) technology can provide the most reliable and cost-effective wireless bandwidth when used to build the networking infrastructure of large-scale wireless systems. The technology is different from that used in traditional wireless networking, being comparable in significance to how packet switched technology (Internet) is different from circuit switched technology (telephone networks) in wire-line networks. The commercial potentials can be comparable: it is creating a new world where high-bandwidth and low-cost communications become possible, for wireless and mobile devices.
OPM is a cognitive networking technology that is advanced from the state-of-the-art by its opportunistic utilization of both spectrum bandwidth and mesh station/radio availability. Current state-of-the-art wireless networking assumes that those resources can be predetermined, and the protocol stacks from wire-line networks can be re-used. For example, in the traditional stack, the MAC (Media Access Control) layer allocates spectrum resources to wireless links; and the network layer sets up a routing path from source to destination based on the overall network topology. In large-scale wireless systems, the use of this stack results in a network that is unable to respond to volatile spectrum availability which is typical in unlicensed bands where interference prevails. In addition, random station/radio availability is also often encountered due to the dynamic traffic load and other factors such as radio failure. Bottlenecks along both wireless links and stations are created because the packet forwarding protocol cannot respond quickly to these changes.
By adopting the cross-layer architecture that merges network routing into wireless link and RF design, the OPM technology creates a dynamic (fluid) wireless network without predetermined topology and spectrum allocation. In the multi-hop wireless communications, every packet takes opportunistically available paths and spectrum in the wireless network on each hop. The network-resource utilization can thereby reach its instantaneous maximum, in spite of volatile changes and demand placed on the network.
OPM networks provide for the most reliable and cost-effective bandwidth for wireless systems. Compared to competing technologies, it has been proved to achieve 5-10 times higher throughput (bandwidth), with a fraction of the cost in terms of materials, installation, and maintenance. The technology is having great applications in current and future smart wireless systems and infrastructures. It can ultimately make wireless communications scalable and affordable; and once it becomes ubiquitous, the commercial impact could be comparable to: 1) what packet-switched network technology (Internet) has brought to personal communications; 2) what mobile communication technology (cellular) has brought to telephony.