Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) plans to demonstrate a peer-to-peer wireless technology called FlashLinq at the Mobile World Congress conference next week in Barcelona, Spain. The technology will use licensed spectrum and let devices form "neighborhood-area networks" so they can communicate with each other.
The company said it is working on a trial of FlashLinq with South Korean carrier SK Telecom. Possible applications include mobile advertising, social networking and M2M communications.
FlashLinq differs from other peer-to-peer technologies because it uses licensed spectrum and is based on TDD-OFDMA. OFDMA is the technology that is used in mobile WiMAX and LTE networks. Qualcomm said the reason for using OFDMA is that it supports up to 1 kilometer discovery range and capacity, meaning it can potentially find thousands of nearby devices.
Of course, other peer-to-peer technologies are available. In 2009, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced a new spec called Wi-Fi Direct that allows smartphones, laptops and other electronics to connect to each other without using a traditional Wi-Fi hotspot. Wi-Fi Direct is faster than existing ad-hoc modes for peer-to-peer connections and can be used in a number of scenarios, such as peer-to-peer gaming or wireless printing. However, Wi-Fi Direct does not connect devices back to the Web, and it appears that FlashLinq will.
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