Opportunistic Networks

They can be characterized by the following features:

  • They are governed by operators through the provision of resources (e.g., spectrum available) and policies, as well as context/ profile information and knowledge, which is exploited for their creation/maintenance.

  • They are extensions of the infrastructure that will comprise various devices and terminals (envisaged in the Future Internet), potentially organized in an infrastructure-less mode, as well as elements of the infrastructure.

  • They will exist temporarily, i.e. for the time frame necessary to support particular applications (requested in specific location and time). Applications can be related to the social networking and prosumer (derives from the combination of "producer" and "consumer") concepts (which are in the focus of the project), as well as to the support of an enterprise (in a particular area and time interval) for developing and delivering products or digital services.

  • At the lower layers, the operator designates the spectrum that will be used for the communication of the nodes of the opportunistic network (i.e. the spectrum derives through coordination with the infrastructure). In this respect, in principle, the bands will be licensed (even though the use of license–exempt bands is not prohibited).

  • The network layer capitalizes on context-, policy-, profile-, and knowledge-awareness to optimize routing and service/content delivery.

 

As shown in Figure 1 an opportunistic network may include cellular Base Stations (BSs), offering macrocell (macroBS), microcell, picocell, or femtocell (femtoBS) coverage, as well as WiFi access points (APs), mostly connected through wireline networks. The devices included in an opportunistic network can be mobile phones, personal computers, cameras, etc.


Figure 1. First illustration of the OneFIT solution (click image to enlarge)