Mobile phones, via the operators, P2P is enough
Rome – The technology of the Swedish TerraNet is raising a lot of attention, that of a peer-to-peer environment for mobile phones that opens the doors to a whole new (free) way of using mobile phones. A modality that, says the BBC, has attracted interest in Tanzania and Ecuador, where the first projects have already started.
“Free wireless local calls – explains the company on its website – free text messages and long distance VoIP calls. TerraNet technology provides all of this through a peer-to-peer wireless network and without any need for base stations, antenna installations or infrastructure ”.
The core functionality lies in the ability to call a certain mobile passing through a “bridge” device , i.e. the mobile phone of another TerraNet user. The game is typical of a P2P environment, in which the devices are “nodes” that can convey data and voice to other nodes on behalf of other members of the network. All this obviously bypassing traditional operators, and consequently eliminating the costs of calls, exploiting the signal strength of the individual devices, which can reach a kilometer.
The founder of the company, Anders Carlius, explains to the BBC that when a TerraNet phone is turned on, it starts a scan to see if there are active systems of the same type in its range: as soon as it finds it, a connection is activated that extends the network . When a certain number is called – the mobile phone checks whether it is in a covered area and, in that case, passes the call through ”.
The idea, therefore, is that of a mesh network that allows you to “call or send messages to anyone”. “But what is more important – TerraNet claims – is that you can call and send messages to anyone in the world through a Terranet wireless Internet access point”. In this way, via VoIP, groups of users of a TerraNet network that “connect” to a PC connected to the Internet can contact users of other TerraNet networks around the world.
Everything nice ? Yes, except that mobile phone manufacturers they seem skeptical with the only exception of Ericsson, who believes in the potential of this technology especially in developing countries. In fact, it is a system that could give its best in all those areas where base stations are not available, or where building them represents too expensive an investment. To the advantage of users, evidently, not only able to communicate in areas not covered before but also to do so at no cost.
The only “price” to pay in order to enter the TerraNet user “network” is the insertion of the company’s technology into the devices, a cost that, the company explains, is essential in order to guarantee the development of P2P software. “If you look at places like Africa, South America, India or China – concludes Carlius – we can offer a digital identity for the first time. People can talk to each other using a phone number. With our technology we allow men and women with few resources to speak in their area completely free of charge ”.