India first to get weather alert technology sans internet

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Bengaluru, March 20 : In a bid to connect people in areas with lower connectivity and data availability, IBM and The Weather Company, owned by IBM Business, on Monday launched the country’s first mobile alerting platform that will deliver weather alerts without internet.

The technology uses peer-to-peer connections on a “mesh network” to send critical weather alerts to people in remote areas.

The technology links other nearby phones to extend the signal to help keep citizens connected and informed, and in the most severe conditions, might even help save a life.

“Mesh Network Alerts networking technology is appropriately designed to notify of potential severe weather events or disasters — even in areas with limited internet connection, or cellular networks are disrupted due to an outage,” said Himanshu Goyal, India Sales and Alliances Leader, The Weather Company, in a statement.

Peer-to-peer technology converts mobile devices into links within the mesh network, allowing devices to “talk” directly to each other without using cell tower infrastructure.

Each smartphone becomes a node that stores the message and securely passes it to the next nearest device, creating a daisy chain to reach more devices and remove the need for a cellular network.

According to a 2016 report by the International Telecommunications Union, nearly 75 percent of India’s population don’t use or have access to the internet.

Mesh network is designed for low-bandwidth environments but uses mesh technology to offers the same high-quality user experience and needed weather information, maps and alerts from The Weather Channel.

“Mesh Network Alerts can help send notification of an upcoming disaster that could help people and their families stay safe. It’s a matter of great pride for us as this technology is first introduced in India,” Goyal added.