The Serval Project – two years of progress towards cell phone direct linkage

The South African Shuttleworth Foundation has published an article by Paul Gardner-Stephen, initiator of the Serval Project.

You probably have heard of the Serval Project before, but here is the gist in just a few words. Serval is an effort to allow mobile phones to communicate directly with each other, rather than having to go through a service provider’s relay antennas. This is neat under any circumstances, but it is absolutely essential in times of disaster, when cell phone service is likely to be unavailable.

The article, titled The Serval Project – Reflections Two Years In gives some of the history of the program and its continuing development and testing, driven by Paul Gardner-Stephen with help from the Australian Flinders University, and more recently the Shuttleworth Foundation.

Features of the software stack that is scheduled to be publicly released later this year, currently include
* Free voice calls between Serval Mesh-enabled phones
* MeshMS, our free mesh-based SMS.

Features under development include:
* Serval Rhizome, a distributed mesh-based file and data distribution platform.
* Serval Maps, a mesh-based mapping application.
* Serval Morse, a distributed, infrastructure-independent micro-blogging service and
* A simple API that lets you make use of Serval services from within applications.

Oh yes – it’s open source and will be free.

This may well become a real game changer for mobile phone use…

More on the Serval Project’s home page