---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: [cr-india] "Now, community radio service on your mobiles!"
From: "sajan venniyoor" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, May 23, 2011 2:30 pm
To: "CR India" <email@example.com>
*Now, community radio service on your mobiles!*
Source: Niyati Rana, DNA, 23.5.11
Ahmedabad: How does the idea of operating a community radio station with
mobile phones sound? Listening to informative programmes, 'airing'
advertisements and filtering content generated by community members all
this could be done using simple cellphones!
The unconventional method of operating a community radio station using a new
application, mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), is proposed by Prof Kavitha
Ranganathan and Prof Ankur Sarin, faculty members at Indian Institute of
Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA).
MANETS are conventionally used in areas like disaster recovery or military
operations. In a working paper titled "A Voice for the Voiceless:
Peer-to-peer Mobile Phone Networks for a Community Radio Service",
Ranganathan and Sarin propose a decentralised community station in which
users will be required to buy a basic low-end mobile phone preloaded with
the MANET software.
The software is used for groups of mobile devices without any centralised
administration or control which form an ad hoc network among themselves. The
paper states that if there are enough such users, the phone will
automatically form an exclusive network among them enabling users to talk to
one another and exchange other forms of data.
The system the paper proposes is built around the idea of community
participation which is the essence of community media. The paper argues that
it found two schemes particularly promising for the application:
Dynamic-Prob and SBA-Adaptive.
"We envision a true peer service where any participant of the peer-topeer
network can be a source of audio content. This entails each phone in the
network to broadcast reliable and efficient voice-based data packets to
every other node in the network," states the paper.
The idea of the MANET based community radio channel is to be completely
decentralised. Every community member is equally equipped to air their
content on the radio service, without a central authority choosing or
filtering the content.
To decide which user will be allowed to broadcast at what time, the paper
proposes a weekly in-person meeting of the community members where all users
interested in an airslot can participate.
"A weekly schedule can be drawn up in a democratic fashion, a simple table
of node identities (phone numbers), start times and end times. This table
can then be confidentially broadcast to all nodes and stored in each peer
phone's memory. When a user tries to broadcast content, it is only forwarded
to other nodes if the schedule permits it," states the paper.
To filter content during broadcast, the paper suggests use of a
decentralised reputation based scheme where users can keep track of past
performance of their peers and regulate participation depending on their
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