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Wireless Networking Cellphones Microsoft Networking

Cool-Tether Links Phones' Bandwidth To Make High-Speed Hotspots 102

Posted by timothy
from the broadish-band dept.
Barence writes "Microsoft Research has found a novel way of beating the deplorably slow speeds of mobile broadband, by combining several phones together to make one high-speed hotspot. Dubbed Cool-Tether, the system harnesses the mobile data connection of multiple mobile handsets to build an on-the-fly Wi-Fi hotspot. 'To address the challenges of energy efficiency, Cool-Tether carefully optimises the energy drain of the WAN (GPRS/EDGE/3G) and Wi-Fi radios on smartphones,' Microsoft's research paper claims. 'We prototype Cool-Tether on smartphones and, experimentally, demonstrate savings in energy consumption between 38%-71% compared to prior energy-agnostic solutions.'"
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Cool-Tether Links Phones' Bandwidth To Make High-Speed Hotspots

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  • like BitTorrent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @09:04AM (#30282606) Journal

    a novel way of beating the deplorably slow speeds of mobile broadband, by combining several phones together to make one high-speed hotspot.

    Mobile operators will just love this! Considering the cell towers can be a bit slow already and especially so when many people are using them for internet, this will not magically provide better speed off it. But it lets users abuse the network same way that BitTorrent does - hammer the network so much that you get more while others suffer.

    While operators already have unlimited 3G for cheap (not in USA, so they actually are unlimited), the only way slow speeds of mobile broadband is going to improve is to push for new technologies and make the operators improve their network. But not that 3G's 5Mbps would be that slow anyway.

  • by rotide (1015173) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @09:15AM (#30282720)
    Seriously, which mobile provider, at least in the US would support this? Most already don't like you tethering. I can't imagine their reaction to multiple customers pooling their services together to take full advantage of their mobile broadband.
  • But, but....... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by endeavour31 (640795) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @09:28AM (#30282836)
    Everyone here knows Microsoft cannot innovate!
  • Re:like BitTorrent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @09:35AM (#30282898)

    Using bandwidth that you have PAID for is not abuse. A company overselling their capacity or promising more bandwidth than they provide is fraud however.

  • Re:like BitTorrent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @09:36AM (#30282906) Journal

    With the rapid increase in Wifi + Internet enabled phones and devices, it could be possible to actually have an entirely distributed network just by linking together devices in range.

    And just imagine the legal complexities if someone actually ran a torrent over it, with unapproved content...

  • Re:AKA JoikuBoost (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wjsteele (255130) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @09:55AM (#30283192)
    Except for the fact that JoikuBoost doesn't manage the power utilization like Cool-Tether does. Also, this is actually a follow on to their previous invention called "Combine" which was announced in 2007. JoikuBoost appears to be a very recent (October 1, 2009) product.

    Bill
  • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @10:13AM (#30283478) Journal
    Anyone want to take bets whether the iPhone store will allow this app? (Hey, since the US is delaying anti-gambling regulations, I'm still okay asking this, right?)
  • Good job (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @10:25AM (#30283576) Homepage

    Microsoft Research has found a novel way of beating the deplorably slow speeds of mobile broadband...

    Good job, research division. Now reluctantly hand it over to marketing which will:

    - Tie it to Windows Mobile
    - Cripple it to only work with Hotmail and Bing
    - Junk it up with "partner channels"
    - Drag out deployment long enough for Apple to be able to field something smaller, cooler and 5x more expensive six months ahead

  • by LandDolphin (1202876) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @10:47AM (#30283906)

    that's why there's no simple UI for configuring it

    Well, for many people, they cannot do anything on a computer with out the "simple UI". So bringing something that a very small population knows how to do on a OS that most have not heard of to the general population might be something worth doing.

  • Re:like BitTorrent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Endo13 (1000782) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @12:01PM (#30284948)

    Or, they could do what any sane person would do, and realize that at any given moment only a tiny fraction of their users are using ANY bandwidth

    Exactly. And that's precisely what makes the whole not-enough-bandwidth problem so ridiculous. No one's asking them to provide the total theoretical amount of bandwidth that they're selling. But they're overselling by so much that they can't even cover what their customers ARE trying to use, let alone what they're actually selling. It's basically the equivalent of an airline selling 500 tickets for a 120-passenger flight. Not to mention the fact that (in the US) they have already been paid by the government to add infrastructure and expand bandwidth.

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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