Cellcos looking for offload solutions to cope with mobile data traffic have been considering things like Wi-Fi hot spots and femtocells. In future, there may be another option – their own customers.
The idea builds on the concept of body-area networks (BANs), which also use sensors linked to a mobile device, but such networks are typically self-contained. ENIT is proposing “body-to-body networks” that essentially connect BANs to each other.
Dr Simon Cotton, from ECIT’s wireless communications research group, says body-to-body networks could be utilized to improve the ability of wearable sensors to serve healthcare apps like monitoring, and - if they prove popular enough - reduce the number of base stations needed to serve high-density areas.