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When you protest for a cause, alongside thousands of people, it is very likely that the mobile network will stop working on everyone’s smartphone. This happens because there are too many smartphones in a small space and the mobile network can’t handle so many connections from the same place. When this happens, you can no longer access the internet on your smartphone, call or text others, until you go to another spot with fewer people around you. For such situations, there’s a mobile app that can help. It is named FireChat, it is free and it works on the iPhone as well as on Android smartphones. It was used successfully during protests in Iraq (2014), Hong Kong (2014), Ecuador (2015) and Romania (2017). Here’s how to use it to communicate with others, when protesting, on your Android smartphone:

What do you need in order to communicate using FireChat?

You can use FireChat to communicate during protests, when the mobile network is down, because this app creates a P2P (Peer to peer) network between all the smartphones that use it in a given area. In order to use it and install it on your smartphone with Android, you need to allow the installation of apps from unknown sources. This is because FireChat installs the ANT Radio Service – a wireless communication service that is used to transfer data between all the smartphones that use FireChat.


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