Facebook Launches an open source Wireless Access Platform ‘Opencellular’
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the creation of a new open-source wireless communication platform called OpenCellular that can be easily located in remote locations by anyone.
OpenCellular is a doorbell-sized hardware device that could be attached to a pole or tree at a range of heights from where it can deliver a wireless network, from 2G cell-phone networks to higher speed LTE, and Wi-Fi networks like those inside your home, or local coffee shop.
The device is designed to work in rural locations in conditions, including high winds, extreme temperatures, and harsh climates.
Facebook has tested the new system at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California and, so far, it has been able to successfully use the device to send and receive text messages, make voice calls and access relatively slow 2G data connections.
Facebook’s New ‘Opencellular’ Device
Facebook says OpenCellular will consist of two main subsystems: One for general purpose and base-band computing, and another to handle the actual radio. Both of those systems were designed to be somewhat modular. The radio system, for example, could be based on a software-defined radio or on a system-on-chip solution.
Besides OpenCellular, Facebook‘s other global connectivity initiatives include its high-bandwidth Internet laser beams, solar-powered aircraft Aquila and unmanned solar-powered Internet-distributing plane.
The initial version of OpenCellular’s platform will be available this summer, but meanwhile, Facebook is testing out the devices at its headquarters and planning outdoor tests with its initial OEMs and Telecom Infra Project (TIP) partners.