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Wireless Mesh Networks (WMNs) operating in the 5 GHz band (IEEE 802.11 a/h) offer a great opportunity to function as wireless access networks. Remote sites that lack direct access to a wired/fibre network may benefit from this technology, as it can be used to bridge possibly large distances. The high gain of directional antennas improves the reception of signals in focused directions and reduces interference from unwanted sources. Therefore, they are the preferred choice for such bridging scenarios. In this paper, the authors present the experiences with setting up such a wireless access network using directional antennas in the area of Neuchatel, Switzerland. They describe the necessary equipment and planning steps, highlight common pitfalls and discuss gained insights as well as experimental results.
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