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Overview of Near-me Area Network (NAN)

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  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 01 Feb, 2022

Near-me Area Network (NAN) is a logical communication network focuses on communication between wireless devices such as Smart Phones and 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 case of 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 growing of technology with addition of mobile internet and Global Positioning System (GPS) Near-me Area Network works. It focuses on a Two way communication between the users.

Even if the different smart phones using 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 Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) but of devices from different network infrastructure.

Types of Near-me Area Network (NAN) :
There are 2 types of NAN:

  1. Closed NAN –
    Formed between the mobile devices using 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 its serving mobile phones.

  2. Global NAN –
    It is formed between the devices having GPS system and internet connectivity. Location is tracked by Global Positioning System and updated to a central server in internet.

The below figure illustrates architecture of NAN :

Some examples of Near-me Area Network :

  • Satya is in 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 market for shopping, so he checks his friend list if any one is there, he can go for shopping together.

Exiting NAN Applications :

  • Apple devices supports Handshake application which allows to share contact information to others nearby without typing.
  • Eagle fire is one of NAN application, Yahoo uses this which keeps the location of the persons and this track can be used by any application.
  • WhosHere is a NAN application which helps in finding the people of similar interest. It provides a different way of communication between like minded people.
  • Loop allows users to find their friends at any location. For example you are at a new location but Loop will hep to find out if anyone of your friend is at that location.
  • Another NAN system example is WhozThat which allows a user to find the 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. Wide availability of NAN enabled mobile devices.

Advantages and Disadvantage of NAN :

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

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