Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Simple Illustration of A Multi-Hop Telephone Call

From time to time I get asked to provide a simple explanation of what the Serval Project actually does.

It allows you to make multi-hop phone calls using only phones, with the signal bouncing from phone to phone 

What does a multi-hop mobile mesh telephone call look like?  

Well, it can look a bit like this:

Of course this photo is a bit staged, and in reality the people in the middle of the call don't have to have their phones out, or do anything -- the mesh routing software automatically works out how to get the call between the parties.  

The only limitation is that their be a path between the calling parties.

Also, the phones can be quite a bit further apart than shown here, around 100 - 200m with line of sight at present, and potentially kilometres apart once we get the ISM915 band meshing happening in the future.

In a future post I will explain how we can enable SMS type services, even when there isn't a reliable path.

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