Open source GSM cellular network have been in news for a while, and we’ve seen people hacking GSM networks in a matter of minutes. However what was left was an easy to do DIY Cellular data network, which has now been made available masses. [PDF]
This new DIY Data network is low cost, low-power, easy to deploy tool developed by Berkeley professor Kurtis Heimerl. Its essentially a good alternative for regions with low or no coverage.Recently one of such prototypes has been tested here in Unitesd States and results seem to be very promising.
The benefits of the Village Base Station:
ﬂexible off-the grid deployment due to low power requirements that enable local generation via solar or wind; explicit support for local services within the village that can be autonomous relative to a national carrier; novel power/coverage trade-offs based on intermittency that can provide bursts of wider coverage; and a portfolio of data and voice services (not just GSM).
A similar prototype has been used in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Jalalabad’s longest link is currently 2.41 miles, between the FabLab and the water tower at the public hospital in Jalalabad, transmitting with a real throughput of 11.5Mbps (compared to 22Mbps ideal-case for a standards compliant off-the-shelf 802.11g router transitting at a distance of only a few feet). The system works consistently through heavy rain, smog and a couple of good sized trees.
Here’s how this GSM DIY equipment works, video explains the channeling & signaling concepts of GSM based on OpenBTS:
Developing countries & rural areas with limited Internet access would benefit from this project. And of course there are endless hobby activities it can get you started with.
“Buy This Satellite” is an effort to crowdfund enough money to purchase the communications satellite TerreStar-1.