New virtual mobile phone network could offer free service for the Outback

Topic: Guides, Industry News

A new mobile phone communications system operating ‘without towers’ is being developed by researchers at Adelaide’s Flinders University, which could have a big effect on the Australian mobile industry.Inspired by the 2010 Haiti earthquake in which the mobile phone network infrastructure crashed causing millions to lose communication, the Several Project aims to allow mobile phones to communicate with each other, creating a virtual network where no actual network cover exists.The new system could be developed in areas such as the Outback where mobile network coverage is sometimes unavailable. It could even lead to communication via mobile phones taking place in remote spots in the Outback free of charge.“It could also provide a limited mobile phone network for remote communities,” said the system creator, Paul Gardner-Stephen.With many businesses operating in the Australian Outback the new system could be a welcome development. Mobile phone penetration continues to grow across Australia. The latest figures show a 300% increase in SMS and MMS messages sent in the last twelve months, as well as a similar increase of 300% in the number of emails being sent from phones since the introduction of Smartphones to Australia.As a result of such growth more and more businesses are recognising the potential of SMS as a way to communicate. Many of them, surprisingly, are not your typical ‘business-tech’ companies either. For example, the largest wheat processing company in Australia, Manildra Park, has adopted SMS.The company operates across the country using SMS to allow them to send daily diesel and biofuel pricing to hundreds of customers. Their customer base includes over 200 independent service stations, local councils and transport operators as well as major mines.With such as widespread base of customers, and a constant demand for diesel and biofuel, Manildra Park is able to reach them with daily price changes via one simple bulk SMS message.

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