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Peer To Peer Mobilage

Sharing the bandwidth
  (+10, -3)
(+10, -3)
  [vote for,

Networks have different shapes. A simplified cell-phone network could be drawn as a central node, with a number of lines radiating out of it terminating at some regional nodes. The regional nodes would also have a set of lines radiating from each of them and terminating at a local transmitter. The local transmitter then has plenty of lines radiating from it, terminating at each of the mobile phones in its range.

There might be special higher-level connections for providing pipes across countries or to use certain facilities (satellites, routing/listening stations etc), but essentially, the network is a cascading spiderweb of nodage.

This shape provides direct and convenient access - except when you are
a) Not close enough to a transmitter to receive a signal
b) Local geographical features (being in a basement for example) impair the signal

It is possible to get boosters that pick up the signal in an area of good coverage, and transmit it out into areas of poor coverage - however, these are fairly rare devices.

With a little of the bandwidth available for playing video games, or browsing the internet, a mobile phone itself could become a participating (rather than a terminating) node in the network. This would mean that network coverage would spread out to wherever there were people - sure the signal might be a bit crappy sometimes, but there would be a signal in areas where currently there is not - as long as there are a number of people around to help carry the transmission.

Given a chain of mobiles all within range of one another, it might be possible to extend cell-phone coverage into remote areas otherwise completely cut off from the cell network.

In London, they say, you are never more than 4 feet from a rat - and the only thing more ubiquitous than a rat is a mobile phone (introducing small radio transmitters into rats by means of specially constructed foods is another idea for another day)

zen_tom, Jan 21 2005

Skype http://www.skype.co...ucts/explained.html
Peer to Peer VOIP [zen_tom, Mar 02 2005]

(?) Spaceland Notes http://www.mathcs.s.../spacelandnotes.htm
Re jaksplat's anno - I've read some of the way down, but am still not quite sure what a Mophone is. Quite Interesting as a published set of notes though. [zen_tom, Mar 18 2005]

Swedish Company Trials Peer-to-Peer Cellphones http://slashdot.org...1546258&threshold=1
Slashdot discussion [xaviergisz, Sep 12 2007]

Open Garden: App turns smartphones into routers for peer-to-peer shared mobile internet coverage http://www.springwi...-internet-coverage/
7 years later! [zen_tom, May 30 2012]

Bridgefy: Peer to peer messaging over a self-maintaining "mesh network" over wifi/bluetooth https://latamlist.c...sters-in-hong-kong/
"Bridgefy started as an offline messaging app and now also operates on a licensing system that allows other apps to work without Wifi or data coverage. The technology uses peer-to-peer connections between phones in the same area to send messages, even with little to no data connection, such as in the case of a natural disaster – or protest. Rather than going through a server, messages will bounce between a mesh network of connected phones to reach their destination without depending on data." [zen_tom, Sep 04 2019]

Wikipedia: Mesh Networking https://en.wikipedi...iki/Mesh_networking
[zen_tom, Sep 04 2019]

Resilient Wi-Fi Mesh Network My detailed idea from 2013–4 on how to implement a mesh network based on Wi-Fi [notexactly, Sep 19 2019]


       Interesting. If it is possible (down to others to know that!) I suspect it would work for extension purposes but if you are under a slab of concrete then I think you are buggered (unless you get 5 mates to stand up the stairs in a line with the door open!).
P.S. I do a lot of work in Boiler Plantrooms which are often in the basement!
gnomethang, Jan 21 2005

       I work in the basement of our building. I'm figuring that areas of low signal come from 'shadows' cast by buildings/features of the landscape that the radio-signal isn't able to penetrate.   

       Since a mobile is capable of receiving and transmitting a signal strong enough to be picked up by the transmitter, a single mobile placed one or two floors above the basement should be able to relay your signal onto a static network node.   

       I think the tricky part would be generating the software that decides how to accept and pass-on signals without lossage - it would have to be a dynamic process and you'd likely be switching quickly from one phone to another (imagine walking down a busy street with your conversation being passed from phone to phone as people move into and out of range). But it's not impossible, computer networks do this a lot of the time. As do the existing mobile networks, except it's the static transmitters that accept temporary responsibility for your calls as you travel through their territory.
zen_tom, Jan 21 2005

       Sure, I see where you are coming from but I figure that the loss of service in the basement is probably due to the concrete slab etc and will be degraded to a point of 'no signal' even with a 'booster' signal a floor up. I know that 2-way radios suffer the same. Bun for the extension bit though!.
gnomethang, Jan 21 2005

       We callers get to feel like we're contributing, giving back to the system (Do we get free minutes, in exchange for being a node?)   

       Would latency be a problem? All those hops..   

       Battery power? "I haven't made a call all day, but my phone's dead..."   

       Dropped calls? "Sorry, this rat is no longer in service"
robinism, Jan 22 2005

       I would be concerned about people listening in on my calls. Then again if you're in the middle of the desert I don't think you're worried about eavesdropping. (+)
MrDaliLlama, Jan 22 2005

       [robinism] yes, latency would, or rather could be a problem - the existing system of course, exists - this extension to it should help fill in the gaps, and push the boundaries out a little further.   

       The software would have to be designed so as to minimise the number of nodes travelled by the phone - however, I think there is a reasonable number of intermediate nodes we can deal with before you'd start to notice latency problems.   

       [MrDaliLlama] - People are more than able to listen to your calls using the current system.
zen_tom, Jan 22 2005

       I've just been looking into using Skype for free internet telephony - and it would seem they are kind of using a similar idea to this one. Namely, to improve the service, rather than have a central network of providers, each user forms a node for the transmission of data, actually increasing the overall bandwith available to each participant. (see link)
zen_tom, Mar 02 2005

       Read "Spaceland" by Rudy Rucker. They call it a Mophone.
jaksplat, Mar 18 2005

       so, not some sort of new parliamentary system for the UK, then
theircompetitor, Sep 04 2019

zen_tom, Sep 04 2019

       I do like the idea of the smallest route possible. To the phone in the next office rather than off to cloud processing on the other side of the world and then back. This is bad for spying organisations but better for bandwidth.
wjt, Sep 21 2019

       So not a way to connect piers, not that useful except you are Piers Morgan.
not_morrison_rm, Sep 21 2019

       // except you are Piers Morgan //   

       Do you have any evidence to support that allegation?
notexactly, Sep 24 2019


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