Picture Source: Daily Telegraph
Couple of years back I blogged about MCN and ODMA concept. Another variation of this idea is now in news again.
From the Daily Telegraph:
Australian scientists have created a mobile phone that can make and receive calls in parts of the world that would normally have no reception.
The phones contain a built-in mini-tower that allows them to connect to other phones via Wi-Fi and create their own network.
Researchers at South Australia's Flinders University devised the phones to work in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack when normal mobile phone services had been cut off.
Dr Paul Gardiner-Stephen said the phones had been tested successfully in the remote Outback where mobiles cannot pick up a signal.
"There was absolutely no infrastructure or support for the telephones so they were acting entirely on their own to carry the calls," he said.
The phones are unlikely to replace existing mobile systems, but could be combined to create fail-safe communication.
"One of our dreams is that every phone will come out with this one day so that if there is a disaster anywhere in the world everyone's phones will then switch over to this mode as a fallback," Dr Gardiner-Stephen said.
"When the infrastructure is knocked out we still provide good service while the traditional mobile phone network provides no service."
At the moment, the signal between phones is limited to a few hundred yards, but the team hopes to expand the range in the future.
I dont see them becoming reality for quite some time to come but its an interesting concept.
This is not the first time this idea is being proposed. As I have discussed, ODMA was intended to do something similar but did not take off. MANET's are other areas that have been worked on for quite some time and you can find good ideas and journal papers. There is also this paper talking about Ad-Hoc networks for mobiles using Bluetooth.
In fact going many years back, Iridium idea was launched with something similar in mind. I remember reading jornal papers back in 1996 that mentioned that Iridium phones will work like landline phones when you are in your house and will work as cellular when out of house and in an area with cellular coverage. If there is no cellular coverage then it will rely on Satellite communication. Of-course in those days nobody thought data usage will become this popular and so it was focussed on voice. Still I cannot see this happening for many years to come.
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