Design Principles for Robust Opportunistic Communication

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Several researchers have proposed the use of transient communication opportunities, that is, opportunistic communication, to reduce the cost of rural communication. The authors propose some design principles for robust opportunistic communication drawing from the experiences in developing and deploying several practical systems. They conclude with a sketch of some areas for future research. Rural communication using technologies such as dialup, VSAT, and long-range wireless networking tend to be low-capacity, unreliable, and expensive. The seminal DakNet approach broke with tradition by using transport vehicles to carry data. This approach has been explored by many others, and has become increasingly relevant to the field with the proliferation of small, highly-functional wireless devices such as smartphones.