Android Question Wifi hotspot without a network connection


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Is it possible to set up a hotspot on a phone that doesn't have a local network connection? I want my app to share data between phones on a desert island, mountain top etc. No internet connection. I tried this on a phone without a service provider and got a connection error that said it couldn't connect to "Verizon's server". Verizon was the old provider at some point in the past.