Facebook introduces OpenCellular: An open source connectivity solution

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Facebook tries to bring connectivity everywhere possible in the world.A survey says that by the end of 2015, more than 4 billion people across the globe didn’t have access to basic internet services and 10 percent of the world’s population lives outside the range of existing cellular networks.Here OpenCellular of facebook will prove to be the best solution to lower this digits.


OpenCellular is a shoe box shaped device which will allow about 1500 people to get wireless connection from 2G and LTE to WiFi Access points for over 10 km of range. This device gets easily attached to a light pole or a tree. This device is much like a cellular tower with reduced dimensions and reduced number of subscribers. Facebook, in its lab tested this device by sending and receiving SMS messages, making voice calls, and using basic data connectivity of 2G implementation on the platform.


Facebook has no intention to make business with this model but the aim is to give it away.He made the hardware and software open source so that makers, developers develop some amazing product using this model and concept.


The platform consists of two subsystems:

  1. General-baseband computing (GBC): The GBC further consists of power, housekeeping microcontroller, microprocessor, timing/sync module, sensors, and control mechanism. The system is designed to take in various input power sources: PoE (power-over-ethernet), solar, DC, and external batteries (seal lead acid) and internal battery (lithium-ion). The system also has numerous sensors that monitor things like temperature, voltage, and current.
  2. Radio with integrated front-end: On the radio subsystem, we have multiple options based on a software-defined radio (SDR) or system on chip (SoC). The SDR and SoC versions support various open source and commercial cellular stacks. The system supports two configurations: as a full network-in-a-box, when the daughter card is combined with the GBC board; and alternatively as an access point, when the daughter card is operating alone (only the SoC version supports this configuration).


Facebook is still testing the system in their headquarters, and they’re expecting to release the system later this summer.

Source from facebook


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