People Could Carry Future Phone Network Nodes

By Duncan Geere, Wired.co.uk

People could carry future phone network nodes

Rolling out mobile phone infrastructure is expensive, difficult and often meets public resistance, but it’s an essential step for increasing coverage. So researchers are looking at alternatives, including one proposal that could see members of the public carrying portable nodes in the network.

The study, which is being conducted at Queen’s University in Belfast, would involve wearable sensors carried by members of the public. These would interact to transmit data between each other, allowing for far lower power requirements than a traditional antenna, greater coverage, and the capability to adapt to demand.

The way it works is simple. Instead of hundreds or thousands of separate connections between different devices and a single phone mast, each participant in the network would send signal to someone nearby, who would send it to the next person, and then to the next person, and so on until it reaches its destination.

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