[HOT] Smartphones using wifi in the field If you ain't in the field or techie ignore this post.

Mhairi O'Hara mhairi.ohara at hotosm.org
Wed Feb 3 14:02:51 UTC 2016

Cheers John! We're collecting data on financial services, education and
health facilities in Eastern Uganda and are looking for sharing solutions
that don't involve the internet. With up to 50 students at times, sharing
files via usb sticks and external hard drives is not ideal as it can be
time consuming. Will look into the setup to see if it could work for us


On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 3:00 PM, Katja Ulbert <mail at katja-ulbert.de> wrote:

> Thanks for this valuable information, John!
> On 31/01/16 22:34, Pete Masters wrote:
> Really interesting, John.... Thanks for the post. Just conducted training
> in DRC on data collection and base mapping. We tried to focus as much as
> possible on offline solutions. Wish I'd read this before we'd been, not
> just after! ;)
> Pete
> On 31 Jan 2016 20:35, "john whelan" < <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com>
> jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I've been playing around with Serval software on Android.  Ideally it
>> needs a wifi mesh set up using multiple firmware modified TP-Link MR3020
>> portable routers with custom software connected to a small radio device
>> which turns it into a mesh extender.
>> The original concept was to turn the smartphone into a router but the
>> latest Android software well anything above 2.2 denies access to do this.
>> Besides which rooting the phone in this manner is not good from the
>> security point of view.
>> However if you are running Windows 10 and your Laptop supports it, most
>> should, you can turn your laptop into a wifi hot spot that other devices
>> can connect to. Note you should not need to be connected to the Internet
>> for this to work.
>> Translation Android smartphones running Serval within say 100 meters of
>> the laptop  can now talk to each other.  I haven't tried a phone call, I
>> don't have two Smartphones to hand, but messaging certainly works.
>> You should also be able to transfer files certainly from one smartphone
>> to another and if Serval doesn't support file transfer to the host laptop
>> there are other apps around that do.  So things like the latest maps for
>> Osmand etc can be brought down once to the laptop then propagated out to
>> smartphones or a smartphone sent by mail, mule etc to the wifi hub can then
>> connect and distribute files etc.
>> I haven't looked at the implications of interconnecting laptops perhaps
>> with cat 5 cables and although phone calls should be fine across one wifi
>> hub theoretically each hub used in the hops adds a small delay so voice
>> quality over multiple hops may not be ideal.
>> Cheerio John
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Mhairi O'Hara
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