An Indestructible Wireless Broadband Network for All – Part 1

“An indestructible wireless broadband network that everyone can use,” is how Devabhaktuni Srikrishna describes the concept of SocialMesh network. Although the original intent was to aid dissidents in their efforts to communicate to each other and the outside world, Rajeev Krishnamoorthy and Srikrishna have found that the underlying approach they proposed for a so-called SocialMesh network would work well for first responder, mobile and fixed broadband networks.

The SocialMesh network concept is built upon proven data transmission theory that was put into practice over 40 years ago. What is new and what makes this unique is the use of the ubiquitous smart phone both as an end point and as a part of the infrastructure. Srikrishna points out that Open Garden  uses the existing radios (WiFi, Bluetooth) to communicate to other devices and establish D2D (Device to Device) networks, in much the same way they had defined the SocialMesh network. This is picking up steam as there are multiple players creating crowd-sourced, wireless broadband including:

To receive the full benefit, Krishnamoorthy and Srikrishna suggest a broad swath of spectrum would be necessary. Their original paper suggested 250 to 750 MHz bandwidth. With spectrum auctions delayed and actions regarding broadcast retransmission consent sure to be discussed in 2014 and First Net struggling how to build an affordable network, now would be a good time for policy makers to take a closer look at this approach to wireless communications.

In part 2 of this two-part interview, we will look at how this crowd sourced approach to communications allocates spectrum without the need for human intervention.


10 responses to “An Indestructible Wireless Broadband Network for All – Part 1”

  1. Devabhaktuni Srikrishna Avatar
    Devabhaktuni Srikrishna

    Even before getting to new spectrum policy, a great deal of progress can be made by running SocialMesh on top of high-performance radios (LTE-equivalent performance) in the 700 MHz public safety mobile radios or even just the unlicensed 900 MHz band on smartphones like the iPhone.

    For example, underground miners are using 900 MHz handheld mesh radio systems built by L-3 for reliable/survivable communications. See the links below.

    Imagine what could happen if Apple decided to integrate something like this into the iPhone using 900 MHz on a high-performance radio similar to the LTE specs?

    1) We would probably no longer experience a cellular communications disconnect/jam during natural disasters like Katrina, Sandy (Fires, Floods etc)

    2) It would create more reliable connections for iPhones during normal routine communications in noth cities and rural areas (fewer dropped calls and fewer stalled data connections, etc)

    3) It would help ease the so-called “mobile data crunch” for mobile carriers on cellular network (faster speeds to users, less congestion on the network)

    L-3 Communications’ Global Security & Engineering Solutions division (L-3 GS&ES) announced today that Energy West will install the L-3 ACCOLADE™ Wireless Mesh Mine Communications System at its Deer Creek Mine in Price, Utah. Installation will begin this week and includes 350 miner mesh radios, fixed mesh nodes, power supplies and beacon nodes.

    See video demo,

    Video shows how the L-3 ACCOLADE Wireless Mesh Communications System works in coal mining operations. This MSHA-approved, integrated wireless communications and tracking system is compliant with the safety requirements of the 2006 MINERAct and MSHA policy guidance. It also enhances day-to-day mining operations with its ability to provide direct communications to all employees and link into existing mine systems. It provides a self-healing, redundant and survivable data network allowing voice and text peer-to-peer communication among mining personnel underground, as well as between below- and above-ground personnel. (Video produced by Mullin/Ashley Associates, Inc.,

    • Operating Frequency: 900 MHz
    • Operating Protocol: 802.15
    • Number of Channels: 4 voice, 1 data
    • Data Transmission Rate: 500 kbps
    • Power Output: RF @ 900 MHz; +13dBm (above ground)

    It looks like ACCOLADE has been installed at a number of mines that were announced in 2010, did not see any additional press releases after that.

    October 25, 2010 – L-3 ACCOLADE To Be Installed at Massey Energy’s Elk Run Mine
    October 25, 2010 – L-3 ACCOLADE To Be Installed at Fourth Mine in Arch Coal’s Cumberland River Mining Complex
    October 22, 2010 – L-3 ACCOLADE Being Installed at PacifiCorp’s Bridger Coal Mining Complex
    July 7, 2010 – L-3 ACCOLADE Installed at Arch Coal’s River Mining Complex
    May 18, 2010 – L-3 ACCOLADE to be Installed at Cherry Tree Mine
    April 12, 2010 – L-3 ACCOLADE Installed at Deer Creek Mine in Utah
    February 18, 2010 – L-3 ACCOLADE to be Installed at Arch Coal’s Lone Mountain Mining Complex

    This mine had a total 350 total mesh nodes (fixed/mobile)

    1. Ken Pyle Avatar
      Ken Pyle

      Thanks Sri. Your comment makes sense. There have been announcements through the years of android-based home phones that use the 900 MHz radios for voice communications using the DECT standard.,+Smart+in+Function/12907494/

      It isn’t too big a leap to see the 900 MHz radios being used for a mesh configuration for an emergency back-up mode.

      As you point out, this wouldn’t require any change in spectrum policy. Still, now is a good time for policy leaders to reexamine the best ways to achieve safety, security and first response objectives.

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  4. Jean-Claude DUCASSE Avatar

    Near the needs for An Indestructible Wireless Broadband Network for All and for emergency solutions the MobiRake Portable wireless station ( PWS) using UHF and White Space can provide to any smartphone or WiFi device all the services described in the Panasonic news from Ken Pyle.

    This solution is provide today to nuclear plant under the pressure of the “Fukushima syndrom”

    The PWS (portable wireless Station) series is designed for urgent, temporary deployment or those environments that hard to be wired. With E-Rake high output power 400MHz NLOS Bridge and an integrated 802.11 b/g/n Access Point, this wireless station can really provides portable, cableless and quickly deployment wireless service.

    The independent power for 15hrs transmission is from the best and safest battery technology – LiFePO4 battery, which supports 13.2V / 18AH capacity and i-BMS (Intelligent Battery Management System), fully protection for charge/discharge process and packed in a robust aluminum die-casting enclosure.
    Téléchargements – Download:
    Wi-10 PWSA041-118 UHF-SHF LAN_WAN_portable_Repeater
    Aplications for PWS configuration for an emergency back-up mode.

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