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Overview of Near-me Area Network (NAN)

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Near-me Area Network (NAN) is a logical communication network that focuses on communication between wireless devices such as Smart Phones Personal Digital Assistants etc within a close proximity area. This Near-me Area network is built over existing physical network infrastructures. In simple in a Local Area Network (LAN) all the connected devices are in the same network segment but in the case of a Near-me Area Network, the connected devices over NAN may be using different network infrastructures. 

For example, think about two smartphone users who are geographically close but using network services from different mobile carriers. With the growth of technology with the addition of mobile internet and Global Positioning System (GPS), Near-me Area Network works. It focuses on Two-way communication between the users. 

Even if the different smartphones use internet connectivity from different Internet Service Providers (ISP) or mobile carriers NAN works well as a location-based communication network. Near-me Area Network (NAN) is just like a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) but of devices from the different network infrastructures. 

Types of Near-me Area Network (NAN): 

There are 2 types of NAN:

  1. Closed NAN – 
    Formed between the mobile devices using the same carrier network, it works without Global Positioning System (GPS). But a location database will be used for this purpose by the carrier where the location can be availed to the carrier by monitoring the signals from the cell towers and their serving mobile phones.
  2. Global NAN – 
    It is formed between the devices having GPS systems and internet connectivity. Location is tracked by Global Positioning System and updated to a central server on the internet.

The below figure illustrates the architecture of NAN


Some examples of Near-me Area Network :

  • Satya is in the Tech seminar, he has one extra ticket. So he shared about his extra tickets to see if anyone of his friend would like to buy the extra movie ticket.
  • Omm has lost his wallet, unfortunately, so he messaged about it, so if any honest person finds it, they can return it
  • Saurav is going to the market for shopping, so he checks his friend list if anyone is there, they can go shopping together.

Exiting NAN Applications :

  • Apple devices support the Handshake application which allows sharing contact information with others nearby without typing.
  • Eagle fire is one of the NAN applications, Yahoo uses this which keeps the location of the persons and this track can be used by any application.
  • WhosHere is a NAN application that helps in finding people of similar interests. It provides a different way of communication between like-minded people.
  • The loop allows users to find their friends at any location. For example, you are at a new location but Loop will help to find out if any one of your friends is at that location.
  • Another NAN system example is WhozThat which allows a user to find information about the other people who are around him/her.

Challenges of NAN applications :

  1. Accurately identifying a place and a position within that place.
  2. The wide availability of NAN-enabled mobile devices.

Advantages and Disadvantages of NAN :

  • Major advantages of NAN include easy fastest communication in close proximity by providing two-way communication.
  • Similarly, the major disadvantages of NAN include the Availability of NAN and the implementation of a Global Positioning System everywhere may not work perfectly.

Last Updated : 12 Jul, 2022
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