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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Bandwidth-Sharing App Brings Connectivity to All

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Air Mobs logo

Eyal Toledano of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed AirMobs, an app that would allow smartphone owners to share their mobile Internet connections, enabling others around them to avoid roaming charges and steep overage fees. For every kilobyte shared via the app, the smartphone owner will receive a data credit that can be used later.

AirMobs shares a smartphone's data plan with others through its Wi-Fi signal. In locations where one carrier has coverage, the app can provide connectivity for all smartphones. Users will be able to choose how much data they want to share, and the app regularly checks the smartphone's battery life and strength of cellular connection. AirMobs also detects movement, and when conditions are right, the Wi-Fi transmitter switches on automatically, enabling others to connect.

Toledano has tested the app, but concerns about objections from cellular carriers have stopped him from releasing it to the Google Play Store. "If networks decided to collaborate and let all devices roam freely, AirMobs would be less needed," Toledano says. "But where operators aren't collaborating, user-to-user collaboration can fix the situation."

From New Scientist 
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