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KB6NU wonders if ham radio has missed the boat

The mix of disasters and modern cell phones has provided a rich field for innovation in backup wireless communication methods. KB6NU wonders if ham radio has missed something here by not making mesh networks more reliable and available for emergency communications.

Then he cites a Computerworld story about an ARC exec who describes a peer to peer messaging network that is under-utilized. That network sounds an awful like APRS.

I do think ham radio has ‘missed the boat’ and a large part of it has been the regulations that have stunted the data throughput on packet and similar technologies on amateur radio bands.There has been some innovation but hams still revert to the I’net when they want to share data, not their own network.

Another part of this story is that of gigahertz radios and cell infrastructure. The modern devices with radios that support 2 and 5 GHz wifi plus two or more cell phone bands also at GHz frequencies are made affordable by the mass market that also supports the infrastructure build-out. There is no amateur radio product that comes close in terms of features for the price. There is also very little an amateur can do to hack such a phone to re-purpose it within the amateur radio regulations.

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