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Mobile ad hoc wireless networks will extend the Internet into new territory, making Web services available "anytime, anywhere." This creates new markets in such areas as pervasive computing and traffic management. We show that the communication quality of current 802.11 ad hoc networks is low, and that users can experience strong fluctuations in link quality as a result. They identify key factors that cause these fluctuations and derive implications for application development. In particular, applications must tolerate frequent disconnections, network partitioning, and latency variations that are far more severe than in conventional networks.