Wired: SRI proposes peer-to-peer multihop cellular system

SRI International is proposing equipping each phone with a “digipeater” capability allowing it to receive and retransmit signals from nearby phones.

SRI, which has been developing technology in its labs for almost 60 years, has software that when implemented in a wireless handheld device allows the handset to continue working even when the network is down.

SRI’s PacketHop software is embedded in the phone. The signal of the device then jumps from handset to handset -ˆ which must also have the software -ˆ until it reaches its final destination. Theoretically, it could work from New York to California if there were enough phones lined up in the right places. Realistically, this would be a solution for short-distance calls.</blockquote.

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