The Weather Company and its parent group IBM have introduced new mesh network alerts technology that will help keep cell phone users connected even when internet connection is limited or power outages have caused network disruptions.
The developers hope that the technology will allow people in developing countries to communicate about severe weather events or disasters as they unfold. It is to be made available in emerging markets across Asia, Latin America and Africa through The Weather Channel app for Android devices, which will use peer-to-peer connections within the mesh network to send alerts to individuals via their smartphone devices. The mesh network technology links other nearby phones to extend the signal to help keep users connected and informed.
Peer-to-peer technology converts mobile devices into links within the mesh network, allowing devices to ‘talk’ directly to each other without using cell tower infrastructure. Each smartphone becomes a node that stores the message and passes it to the next nearest device, creating a chain to reach more devices without the need for a cellular network. - February 2017