During Innovations in Mobile Data Collection, we talked quite a bit about delayed data processing when infrastructure (mobile or internet) is not readily available. Nadav Aharony from MIT says:
“Non-synchronous data communications is used when an active data connection or cell phone coverage are not available. Data could opportunistically make its way from the origin to the destination via different types of electronic messengers, or ‘data mules’.
For example, you could equip a bus that has a regular daily route to a village with a wifi/GPRS-enabled device. As the bus passes by the village, the devices connects and transfer data from a clinic, for example. In engineering terms, this type of network is called a “delay tolerant network”, or DTN.
There are different projects working along these lines in countries such as India or Cambodia, and there are different methods for implementing the “data mule” – from a bus, to a motorcycles, to an ox-cart.”