Wireless communication methods, systems, and computer program products
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A method, wireless device and computer program product for expanding the coverage of a cellular network. A wireless device (e.g., cellular telephone) is able to communicate with a base station in a cell of the cellular network over a non-cellular interface via another wireless device in a cell through the use of multi-hopping. A wireless device may request permission to communicate with the base station over a non-cellular interface via hopping off another wireless device when its signal strength is below a threshold. Alternatively, a wireless device may receive a request to communicate with the base station over a non-cellular interface via hopping off the wireless device that sent the request when that wireless device has excess capacity in its bandwidth with the base station.