Music, videos and games could soon be swapped between cellphones using a mobile file-sharing network developed by phone maker Nokia.

Lorant Farkas and colleagues, at the Nokia Research Center in Budapest, Hungary, have adapted the peer-to-peer (P2P) schemes used by internet users to share files and tested them on their 6600 model cellphones.

Computers connected to a P2P network act as both client and server and also relay messages to neighbouring computers, removing the need for a centralised server. Popular internet file-sharing networks such as Gnutella and Kazaa allow users to search one another’s hard drives for music or video files and then download them directly.

The prototype network developed by Farkas can currently be used to share images and text. “Nowadays you can take pictures and record videos with a smart phone,” Farkas said. “We were primarily thinking of this kind of content.”

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