Internet Service in Developing Regions Through Network Coding


The availability of Internet services brings many benefits to developing regions, yet Internet deployment levels in these regions remain staggeringly low. In this work we investigate how existing cellular deployments, which have enjoyed more rapid and wider deployment than client Internet infrastructure, could be used to provide very low cost Internet services in underdeveloped rural areas. We propose a new service model in which traffic is delivered over multihop client-to-client connections that are coordinated by end-to-end control traffic exchanged over cellular infrastructure. To enable this scheme in low client density rural settings, we propose a novel data forwarding mechanism for opportunistic space-time paths. To explore multiple opportunistic paths, but without the high forwarding cost of replicating data on these paths, we use network coding and send only a fraction of the data on each path. Through extensive OPNET simulations we show that globally coordinated opportunistic forwarding enables service acceptable to most applications at only a fraction of cellular infrastructure load. We argue that the reduced load on the cellular infrastructure allows additional users to share services and cost of the network and has the potential to lower the per user price of data services in developing regions.



Computer Science


Mike P. Wittie, Kevin C. Almeroth, Elizabeth M. Belding, Ivica Rimac, Volker Hilt "Internet Service in Developing Regions Through Network Coding," in IEEE Communications Society Conference on Sensor, Mesh and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks (SECON), 2009.
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