Our "wireless bridge" of connectivity to developing regions.
Our "wireless bridge" of connectivity to developing regions.

The MOMENT Lab focuses on two areas of research: mobile networking, and information and communication technologies for development (ICTD).  In many projects, we apply our nearly two decades of expertise in mobile and wireless networking to solve problems in ICTD.  Within this space, the MOMENT lab works on the development of network solutions, primarily but not exclusively wireless, suitable to the constraints of developing and underdeveloped regions of the world.  The technological revolution of the past few decades has created a digital divide that separates the affluent and developed nations from the developing and under-developed regions of the world.  This digital divide has also widened the gap in economic divisions.  The goal of our research is to develop inexpensive and self-sustaining solutions that improve the usability of today's Internet in remote regions of the world.  As part of this work, we do extensive data collection and network analysis, to understand how networks in these contexts are used and how well they perform.  We use the results of these analyses to motivate the solutions we put forth for improving the user experience and making the Internet more usable in these contexts.  Recently, our solutions have paid particularly attention to both online social networks and cellular networks, as these are two prominent and highly sought-after technologies within developing communities.  While we seek to develop solutions applicable to a wide context of developing regions, to date our work has focused specifically on Native American communities, and rural communities in Zambia, South Africa, and Mongolia.  We have also recently traveled to the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan for a preliminary assessment of their network infrastructure.  In many of these regions, we have collected extensive data sets of traffic headers that have allowed us to deeply analyze the network performance and usage in these contexts.  

One of the prior research emphases of our group was the deployment, measurement, and modeling of wireless networks. The MOMENT group created a wireless mesh testbed at UCSB, called the UCSB MeshNet, for the purpose of rapid prototyping of solutions, monitoring of user behavior, and studying wireless network deployment issues. Also under this project the MOMENT group monitored the wireless network performance of the 60th, 61st, 62nd and 64th IETF meetings. We collected over 100GB of data on traffic and user movement, analyzed the data and developed models that represent user behavior.  Our analyses of this data discovered a number of undesirable behaviors of IEEE 802.11 and other protocols in congested networks.  Part of our work included the development of new solutions that improve network performance.

A second prior and long-ago research emphasis of the MOMENT Lab was Quality of Service support for mobile networks. We developed a number of solutions that support both higher quality and more concurrent multimedia and voice streams in mobile and mesh networks. We completed a number of projects related to this area, including projects at the MAC and network layers. We leveraged the UCSB Meshnet testbed for the characterization and analysis of our solutions.

Finally, Dr. Belding is the co-developer of the AODV routing protocol, which is now a part of the Zigbee standard and on which part of the IEEE 802.11s standard is based.

Our work has enabled many terrific partnerships, and we have been fortunate to obtain funding from a variety of sources.  Our current and/or recent research partners include:

Our current and prior funders and collaborators include:

  • the National Science Foundation
  • the US State Department
  • the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • the Tribal Digital Village (TDV) Network, a Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association program, in San Diego county
  • Nokia
  • Google
  • Intel
  • IBM Research

We are very appreciative of all the financial support and intellectual collaboration of our partners!


  • 13 September 2023 —  Profs. Belding and Gupta and seven of their students attended Sigcomm'23.  Newly minted Dr. Paul gave a terrific presentation for his paper titled "Decoding the Divide: Analyzing Disparities in Broadband Plans Offered by Major US ISPs", while MOMENT Lab students Nawel Alioua, Jiamo Liu, and Varshika Srinivasavaradhan all gave posters of their recent research.  
  • 12 September 2023 —  Congratulations to Dr. Udit Paul, the MOMENT Lab's 21st PhD graduate!  Paul is off to great things at Ookla!  We are so proud of the work Dr. Paul has done to measure fixed broadband access and affordability around the US.
  • 02 May 2023 —  Congratulations to Moment Lab alum Morgan Vigil-Hayes on receiving tenure at Northern Arizona University!  We are so proud of you!!
  • 24 April 2023 —  Congratulations to Vinothini Gunasekaran, the most recent M.S. graduate of the MOMENT Lab!  Vinothini's project was titled "Analyzing Internet Affordability in Santa Barbara County."  Best of luck to you Vinothini as you embark on your career!