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The increasing popularity of multi-hop wireless mesh networks, augmented with specific mechanisms required to support carrier-grade services, makes them an attractive alternative to classical backhaul solutions for network operators. However, current mesh deployments are typically small-sized, and, under real-time service requirements, it is yet unclear if they could scale to realistic network sizes. In this paper, the authors present a carrier-grade mesh network architecture and conduct a thorough study of its scalability. In particular, they identify the main bottleneck problems and evaluate by means of simulations and practical experiments the costs induced by the modules that provide self-configuration, resource handling, routing and mobility support capabilities.
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