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Local area networks (LAN) through mobile technologies

I've been contemplating why a fully mobile based (laptops and smart phones) local area network doesn't exist. Something like this used to be called personal area networks in the 90's where you'd have your home router and all your networked computers share your printers or files. There's still functionality like that in home networks today, but why no expanded functionality, like chatting/messaging? How is this different from a LAN (gaming) party? If what I wanted to do was exchange files or chat with someone who is right next to me in a classroom, why do I have to go through an external router (wifi or cell network) and the greater Internet infrastructure? Why can't I create a mini localized internet between linked smartphones and laptops in a local area? All a router does is route data packets to where they need to go. Why can't a phone do this if there's no need to use the greater Internet's infrastructure and there's a much smaller set of device addresses, like in this hypothetical mini local network? We know that phones can tether for data connections and pair via Bluetooth.
William Fan, Founder of Project Credo
asked 4/10/2017, updated 4/10/2017
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