The cellular network range over the oceans is limited to about 15 km from the shore in most places. The service providers do not have any incentive to extend the coverage further. However, marine fishermen who routinely spend 5 to 7 days at the ocean on a single fishing trip are severely impacted by this. They go as far away as 120 km from the shore on some occasions and are completely cut off from the land during their fishing trips. Also, they are generally poor and need an economical solution to stay connected. We have developed and successfully prototyped an affordable solution based on a multi-level auto-reconfigurable backhaul infrastructure network. It uses long range (LR) Wi-Fi and extends the connectivity to 60 km and beyond over the oceans using heterogeneous networks and relay nodes. Multiple field trials involving up to four boats over the Arabian Sea have yielded consistent and repeatable results even under rough sea states. Additional experiments conducted over the backwaters by scaling up the network further have also yielded positive results. This work provides a detailed description of the architected solution and the results obtained.
S. N. Rao, Raj, D., Parthasarathy, V., S. Aiswarya, Dr. Maneesha V. Ramesh, and Rangan, V., “A Novel Solution for High Speed Internet Over the Oceans”, in IEEE INFOCOM 2018 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications Workshops (INFOCOM WKSHPS), 2018.