Wi-Fi-based mesh networks have been considered as a viable option to provide wireless coverage for a vast area, such as community-wide or city-wide. However, interference due to multihop transmissions and potential isolated (disconnected) nodes are the major obstacles to achieve high performance. In this paper, we propose a heterogeneous wireless network architecture, consisting of Wi-Fi and WiMAX, to overcome these limitations. We first construct an optimization problem to analyze the benefits of heterogeneous networks. Then, we design a practical protocol to efficiently combine the resources of Wi-Fi and WiMAX networks. The evaluations show that our new scheme greatly improves the system performance in terms of throughput and fairness.
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