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Thursday, 01 October 2009 09:37

NICTA, Singapore's I²R collaborate on mobile wireless networks research

Australia’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence – NICTA – is to collaborate with Singapore’s A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R) in a two-year agreement, to develop and demonstrate fast, low-cost, temporary mobile wireless communications networks.

Under the agreement, NICTA and I²R, will collaborate on designing a new system that the two organisations say will let people connect with each other in real-time using their mobile phones or smart phones, “without the need for expensive communications infrastructure.”

NICTA project leader, Dr Roksana Boreli, said that “unlike traditional wireless networks with fixed access points, the connective ‘tissue’ of the proposed temporary network will vanish once the communication is complete.”

“With this project, we are exploring opportunities in the mobile services area which involve collaborative communications. This research is seeking a way to share content across a temporary mobile network using existing wireless links like WiFi or Bluetooth.

“The network forms as different devices (smart phones and mobiles) come within range of one another and the data ‘hops’ between the devices. These ‘ephemeral’ networks could be generated at large gatherings like rock concerts, allowing people to exchange video footage showing various views of the action on the stage.”

According to Dr Boreli, the project will also propose a trust mechanism to secure these new, ‘ad-hoc’ communications, and she says it is ”important that the connections are trusted by users and are also cost-effective.”

Singapore’s I²R project leader, Associate Professor Chen-Khong Tham, says that what is exciting with the collaborative prioject is that “we are exploring ways to encourage mobile phone users to let their phones help others in the vicinity, and recognising and rewarding the trustworthy helpers.”

Associate professor Tham said the proposed architecture would be suitable for a variety of future streaming, broadcast and unicast applications and promises potential savings in the areas of infrastructure and connection costs.


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