To network users in telecommunications you need a network. It seems straightforward. But if deploying a network is inconvenient or too expensive, could we imagine other ways to achieve the same (almost the same) goal?
I present here a first view and in a next post another one. The challenge for you is to find some other ways and, of course, your comments on these views are most welcome.
Suppose you live in a densely populated area and that many persons have a terminal that can double up as a network node. Today this assumption has too many shortcomings, the principals being the limited processing power available in a terminal like a cell phone and the high energy requirements to power this processing power.
Tomorrow, by the end of the next decade, the situation might be significantly different. Tens of GFLOPs in your hand may be a reasonable assumption and these might require a fraction of a watt to operate. A battery may provide enough juice to run this kind of processing power for a day.
If these technology hurdles are overcome you can imagine that the access to the internet is no longer requiring a connection from your device to a public infrastructure antenna, rather you just need to get to a nearby terminal and either find there what you are looking for or be connected to the next in “line”. This strategy may not lead you anywhere and at a certain point your quest will require a public infrastructure to take a big leap to wherever is located what you are looking for.
However, some math can tell you that in most cases you will find that this hop by hop connectivity (through mash networks formed solely by devices) is fitting you needs.
If devices, as I will discuss in the next post, have huge storage capacity you are likely to find whatever you are looking for in a nearby devices. Actually, the more popular an information proves to be, the more likely you can find it nearby.
This kind of network-less network enjoys the nice characteristics that the more customers are present, the more the network capacity and the more likely you are to find your quest satisfied within this “network”.
Why would another person (or you) be willing to hand over, for free, part of his device processing power? Well if a long series of “ifs” is satisfied, like if there is plenty of processing power left for doing whatever I fancy, if the battery will not be unduly suffer from powering these external demands, if I can trust that there won’t be any security threat, if I can see that my willingness to “socialize” is matched by other people willingness to socialize,…then, why not?
Is this continuous chatting going to generate so much interference that it will be impossible to have any meaningful communications among devices? Well, no. No if they have sufficient processing power to work in a coordinated way to separate the signal from the noise produced by the other signals (interference). This fact has already been proved and it has been shown that it is just a matter of processing power.
Will this communications increase the electromagnetic pollution? Well, no. The radiation power involved decreases with the increase of number of devices connected in the mesh since the distance to be covered from one to the next is smaller and smaller and thus the power of the signals decreases with the square of the distance.
This kind of network shows many characteristics of ecosystems. They grow in features as they become more populated, the various players are only loosely connected,….