Relay-by-smartphone: Realizing multihop device-to-device communications

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305 Citations (Scopus)


The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami drastically changed Japanese society, and the requirements for ICT was completely redefined. After the disaster, it was impossible for disaster victims to utilize their communication devices, such as cellular phones, tablet computers, or laptop computers, to notify their families and friends of their safety and confirm the safety of their loved ones since the communication infrastructures were physically damaged or lacked the energy necessary to operate. Due to this drastic event, we have come to realize the importance of device-to-device communications. With the recent increase in popularity of D2D communications, many research works are focusing their attention on a centralized network operated by network operators and neglect the importance of decentralized infrastructureless multihop communication, which is essential for disaster relief applications. In this article, we propose the concept of multihop D2D communication network systems that are applicable to many different wireless technologies, and clarify requirements along with introducing open issues in such systems. The first generation prototype of relay by smartphone can deliver messages using only users' mobile devices, allowing us to send out emergency messages from disconnected areas as well as information sharing among people gathered in evacuation centers. The success of field experiments demonstrates steady advancement toward realizing user-driven networking powered by communication devices independent of operator networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6807947
Pages (from-to)56-65
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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