Facebook has launched OpenCellular. An open source and cost-effective, software-defined wireless access platform. It aimed to improve connectivity in remote areas of the world.
The OpenCellular initiative comprises of a device that contains the hardware required to set up a local, wireless network.
The system provides the tools to set up a network. It includes the hardware and software, and it should be available later this summer.
More than 4 billion people still don’t have basic internet access. One of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to reach remote areas existing infrastructure doesn’t cover.
It’s designed as an open system. Which means anyone can use them to build and operate wireless networks. Even in the most remote places.
“There’s not yet a viable business model for operators to set up shop and bring connectivity to rural villages”. Says Subbu Subramanian, an engineering director on the project. “We want to make sure people have that connectivity. And that there’s a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem that can spur innovation ever further.”
“With OpenCellular, we want to develop affordable new technology that can expand capacity. We want to make it more cost-effective for operators to deploy networks in places where coverage is scarce,” Facebook engineer Kashif Ali writes.
“By open-sourcing the hardware and software designs for this technology, we expect costs to decrease for operators and to make it accessible to new participants.”
In Facebook Lab, the team has been able to send and receive text messages, make voice calls and use basic data connectivity using 2G with the system.
OpenCellular can also work without an Internet connection. It acts as an offline hub that allows phones and computers to interact with one another over a local network.
You can read the detailed report on Facebook’s Official post.