Stuff I Learned This Year: Mobile Mesh Networks

This is actually something I learned quite some time ago, but never got around to documenting here on ye old blog1

My good friend, and NTBTWK’s Official Statistician & Tattoo Consultant, Dr. Daniel J. Gillis, is doing some really cool work in northern Labrador with Mobile Mesh networks. But what is a Mobile Mesh network, you ask? That’s a good question – and one that I asked the good doctor at some point – I can’t remember exactly when, but I’m pretty sure it was over a pint of beer or a dram of whiskey.

Basically, a mobile mesh network is where you have a bunch of cell phones that are all connected to each other to make up a network and you can use that to send communications throughout the network – even if you don’t have a connection to the Internet (since you are all connected to each other). It’s useful in places that don’t have good Internet connectivity – like the far north for example or other remote communities.

But if you’d like a more sophisticated explanation than my admittedly underwhelming explanation for something that is actually really cool, I know of two places where you can listen to the good doctor talking about this stuff.

  1. Dr. Dan and his friend and colleague, Dr. Jason Ernst, were interviewed about their work on Mobile MeshNetworking.on the BBC World Service!  You can go here to listen to the experts talk.
  2. Dr. Dan was a guest expert on an episode of the podcast “School of Batman”, which you can listen to here (just scroll down to the episode called “The Quakemaster’s Aftermath”)

I’m looking forward to seeing how this technology ends up playing out – and what things emerge from improved connectivity in remote communities!

  1. In fact, WordPress tells me that I started this blog posting on January 23, 2018 and then proceeded to not finish for seven months. Better late than never, I guess? []