Mobile technology is evolving and as smartphone memory (including increased flash storage space), battery life and network performance improves, so will the opportunities to circumvent the existing mobile networks. Nothing is impossible with the advances being made with smartphones right now. The events in Egypt, Libya and Syria, got me thinking about how mobiles could be used without governments/mobile operators spying on the voice and data calls.
Cell towers (sites) would provide the coverage and if the cell site was knocked offline, the mobile network wouldn’t exist. So what if you could find a way to circumvent the loss of a cell network? I actually believe (and this is based on research I am doing) that somewhere right now, government or even hackers are looking into ways of communicating outside of the 3G/4G(LTE) networks. LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the latest transmission technology (4G) which provides greater bandwidth and speed for data hungry smartphones – far greater than 3G was ever capable of. If LTE isn’t introduced then the 3G network will grind to a halt – or will it?
Some suggest (and I’m included in this ‘some’) that a hybrid mesh network could be developed that supports a cell network without a cell network. I hear you say what? Think the TOR network folks. Imagine if you could turn any mobile smartphone into a IP network hub with public key encryption which transmits wireless signals, with host smartphones (nodes) connecting using a client-side app? WiFi hotspot technology works is a slightly similar concept.You could jump off a cell providers network onto a ‘private’ TOR-like network where no-one could eavesdrop or intercept your data/voice transmissions. You could also use the network for P2P sharing which would bridge the Internet. There are endless opportunities. Social networking (Twitter and Facebook) would act as the messaging platform which allow for people (mobiles) to connect as and when – so the scene is set.
This leads me to my final thought. What if by jumping off the cell network you could also open a new opportunity for mobile malware writers to exploit? By this I mean the ability to propagate malware from a smartphone ‘hub’ to connecting client smartphones. It’s possible but could be managed with an intelligent mobile app permission management application – only downside here is expect to see lots of prompts :(.
This is a very interesting theory and one in which the late Steve Jobs might have been looking into to power the network behind his now famous iPhone devices.
Safe surfing folks!