Start up pitches peer to peer phones

A Swedish start up is working on a mobile peer to peer technology that would allow free phone calls between mobile handsets.

TerraNet’s peer to peer technology requires no external network and no operator. A minimum of two TerraNet units is required to form their own wireless network within a range of up to 2000 metres.

Calls and text messages are free between the units, with all units acting as nodes and carrying traffic between other units in the cluster. A call hops from one unit to the next until it reaches the destination, up to seven units away.

To provide wider communication, a TerraNet access point can be established by plugging a USB dongle into an internet connected PC. This allows any user in the cluster to set up free VoIP calls to users in other TerraNet clusters, or via VoIP-based dial out services to fixed line phones and mobile phones anywhere in the world.

While TerraNet reckons its technology could be easily integrated into a number of different devices, including mobile handsets, it looks very much like the offering is going up against the femtocell and picocell platforms currently being pitched by vendors.

Femtocells allow for the creation of local mobile networks, across a campus or within a building for example, but use industry standard GSM handsets.

As for the wilderness situations TerraNet pitches as another potential market, surely walkie talkies have had this space covered for some time.


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