Agilent Technologies has filed a patent designed to enable a mobile phone to act like a mesh network. The patent allows a mobile phone to communicate with a base station out of range by hopping via another phone to transfer the calls between the station and the handset. The patent application notes that it is designed to be a method for increasing coverage areas to allow for temporary networks in case of emergencies.
The news also highlights a quiet trend of companies developing alternatives for fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) as it is envisioned now, with a cellular signal moving onto a WiFi connection. Israeli-based Clariton Networks, for instance, has developed bypass infrastructure to penetrate the home. The company uses the CATV existing infrastructure by passing wireless native RF signals between the base station/router and the wireless device over the air only indoors, and then over the CATV network to the base station/router. Look for that to be a compelling technology for the Sprint Nextel cable partnership.