We propose a new replication control scheme for mobile database systems. Replicating data inevitably induces the burden of maintaining consistency, which requires more complex synchronization mechanisms, especially in the presence of communication failures. If a communication link fails, all sites are divided into two disjoint groups: the major group called the quorum partition and the minor group called the non-quorum partition. This phenomenon, called network partitioning, could lead to access starvation. In order to access replicated databases without access starvation even in the presence of network partitioning, we propose a new scheme called fault-tolerant quorum consensus (FTQC). FTQC is based on the idea that quorum formation is allowed even in the non-quorum partition. FTQC guarantees inter-partition one-copy serializability, without sacrificing data availability. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.