Developers Keep Cracking Away At Mesh Networks
from the maybe-you-can-hear-me-now dept
Assuming the technology actually works well in the real world, it could be a useful way to allow communications in remote areas without mobile networks, while the company behind it says it could also be used to allow for free calls. It doesn't sound as if they have things completely sorted out on the technology front yet, but the bigger problem with getting the technology adopted in the developed world, where traditional mobile networks are common, is that coverage can't be guaranteed. Instead of plunking down a base station (or WiFi access point, etc.) and knowing it will cover a certain area, this sort of mesh network requires that there be a chain of users, each no more than 1km apart, between the two people who wish to communicate. If any part of that chain breaks, the network has to try route around it and hope that there's another way to connect the two parties. This can be a problem, particularly when networks are first launching and there aren't a lot of users around. It's also a hurdle that users in developed nations, where mobile networks are already plentiful -- and relatively cheap -- won't be very willing to overlook.