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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Nokia Innovates Again - Mobile File Sharing Via NewScientist

Music, videos and games could soon be swapped between cellphones using a mobile file-sharing network developed by phone maker Nokia. This framework has adapted the peer-to-peer (P2P) schemes used by internet users to share files and tested them on their 6600 model cellphones.Computers connected to a P2P network act as both client and server and also relay messages to neighbouring computers, removing the need for a centralised server.Nokia's system works on cellphones that connect to GPRS networks, which are designed to make it cheap to stay online. Users are charged for the data they receive and send rather than the length of time they are connected.the Nokia researchers developed a cellphone network simulator to model the way different types of P2P network would work.They began with an optimised P2P network structure known as “parallel index clustering”. This divides the users of a network into clusters to increase efficiency. Each member of a cluster keeps a list of the files stored within their cluster and can respond to queries from outside on behalf of everyone inside it.The researchers then tried several schemes for communicating between users and clusters to see which worked best. They found a complex structure known as "deterministic ring" to be ideal, blending fast searching with network resilience.Network operators have traditionally controlled what can be downloaded, because they can make money from providing access to content. Typically, the ringtones are sold for premium prices and this mobile online revolution could be the next Killer App in the mobile world.

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