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Monday, 01 November 2010 10:12

Users to carry mobile nodes

Written by Nick Farell

Cunning plan hatched
Boffins have come up with a method of speeding up the mobile networks in cities by giving all users portable nodes. A 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.

Instead of having 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. Dubbed body-to-body networks they could be embedded within existing devices like your phone, so you wouldn’t need to carry extra equipment. It will have the advantage that if you are hanging around large crowds that normally screw up bandwidth you would actually increase the coverage in an area.

Simon Cotton, from Queen’s University’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology said that BBNs could also lead to a reduction in the number of base stations needed to service mobile phone users, particularly in areas of high population density. Cotton reckons that they could reach more than 400 million devices across the world by 2014.

Nick Farell

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-6 #1 droid_hunter 2010-11-01 11:20
Its got cancer written all over it!
+1 #2 deadspeedv 2010-11-01 11:24
Only spastics believe electromagnetis m causes cancer. Same group that think Florine in water and Plastic can kill you.

This idea would have a latency problem, so no online gaming via your mobile :P
+4 #3 Reavenk 2010-11-01 14:26
I wonder how exploitable a service would be where the backbone is founded on giving communication power to the laymans and the kiddie hackers in the masses.
+1 #4 Bl0bb3r 2010-11-01 14:42
This sounds to me like the same exploitation game publishers are using... installing a P2P app in the background of a game that would use the customer's bandwidth to supply other clients of the company with data, all for free and on the account of the unknowing customer.

As deadspeedv pointed out it would have latency problems but not that this wouldn't be a good substitution for internet browsing only. Would take a lot of the load off the transceivers in a crowded area, but it would also imply that the peer devices will have their battery life shortened.

However people should be compensated for this kind of "help", and I'm thinking free (as in no-cost) internet. That or it's a no go!
+3 #5 thomasg 2010-11-01 15:46
Radio waves cause cancer, it's a scientific fact, that's what RADIATION is.
0 #6 Haberlandt 2010-11-01 16:51
I think only waves below 400 nm can cause cancer (UV, X-rays and gamma rays).
+2 #7 droid_hunter 2010-11-01 20:46
Many researchers are skeptical regarding long-term safety from the constant bombardment of electromagnetic radiation to the human body. “This has the potential to create a number of physical illnesses from cancer to neurological disorders,” said Mike Davis who specializes in electromagentic frequencies and there affect on humans.

“The availability of body-to-body networks may bring much greater risks to the population than benefits,” said Davis. “Regardless of reduced power levels from base stations, they may ultimately place a greater strain on the healthcare system in the long-term by dramatically affecting the nervous systems of the entire population,” he stated. “Humans would become the base stations.”
0 #8 canerpense 2010-11-03 07:34
I think the low power connections between nodes will be far less dangerous than the very high powered antenna connections.

Does Wlan or Bluetooth kill you?

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