John Cox writes in NetworkWorld: The IEEE group charged with creating a standard for wireless LAN mesh is rounding up about 15 proposals at this week’s 802.11 meeting in San Francisco. Members of the 802.11s task group hope to have a draft standard completed in 12 to 18 months. Today's wireless LAN mesh networks use proprietary algorithms and are typically deployed outdoors. With a IEEE mesh standard implemented by WLAN vendors, it's possible that in the future every wireless LAN would also be able to configure itself as a mesh network, similar in concept to the Internet. A wireless mesh uses a radio to interconnect the access points and route wireless packets over the best available route. Mesh benefits include potentially higher performance and more reliable nets.
For a quantative analysis of mesh network benefits, see Dave Beyer's presentation linked from in this article.
via Fergie's tech blog.