Saturday, October 22, 2011

Serval is going to Atlanta

Well, Romana (co-founder of Serval Project) is.  And that is because she will be representing the Serval Project's interests at the IEEE 802 plenary meeting there in just a couple of weeks (November 2011).

Romana will be putting forward use cases that reveal deficiencies in the current 802.11 family of WiFi standards for mesh and ad-hoc communications.

If all goes well, we may have the opportunity to input into a process of looking to address these issues, which is tremendously exciting for us.

It could mean much longer range mesh hops using ordinary mobile phones, by using the cellular radio to implement some kind of WiFi in the ISM 915MHz band.

It could also spell the end of frustrating incompatibilities in the 802.11 ad-hoc WiFi standard, including the bizarre lack of specification of ad-hoc in 802.11n, preventing standards conforming devices from using the higher speeds and other benefits that 802.11n brings.

Either or both of these have the potential to make citizen generated infrastructure-free communications systems mainstream, thus our excitement.

So Atlanta will be the official first turning of clod in a process that could extend up to four years, and represents a huge personal investment on the part of Romana, as well as a substantial financial investment on the part of the Serval Project, and thus the Shuttleworth Foundation whose support makes this possible.

We would invite any other open efforts that have concerns with aspects or omissions of the IEEE 802.11 WiFi standards to get in touch with us, so that we can do our best to represent the needs of more than just ourselves.

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