Using customers as femtocells
Cellcos looking for offload solutions to cope with mobile data traffic have been considering things like Wi-Fi hot spots and femtocells. In future, there may be another option – their own customers.
Researchers from the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s University Belfast say they’re working on wearable sensors that could create “ultra high bandwidth mobile internet infrastructures and reduce the density of mobile phone base stations.”
The idea builds on the concept of body-area networks (BANs), which also use sensors linked to a mobile device, but such networks are typically self-contained. ENIT is proposing “body-to-body networks” that essentially connect BANs to each other.
Dr Simon Cotton, from ECIT’s wireless communications research group, says body-to-body networks could be utilized to improve the ability of wearable sensors to serve healthcare apps like monitoring, and - if they prove popular enough - reduce the number of base stations needed to serve high-density areas.