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Is Facebook Working on Open Source Wireless Carrier?

The more individuals connected to the Internet, the more individuals Facebook make advertising cash off of. Though altruism plays a modest part, “more advertising eyeballs” is the motivation behind Facebook’s continuing effort to enhance broadband connectivity world-wide. As such, Facebook is investigating several alternative connectivity choices, including drone broadband, millimeter wave broadband, and new antenna designs meant to help extend broadband’s reach.

Now Facebook unveiled another essential element of its strategy: “Open Mobile.”
It is effectively a mobile network in a carton, fully customizable, and effective at supporting a broad assortment of wireless network standards, from LTE and 2G to Wifi access points.

“With OpenCellular, we need to develop affordable new technology that can expand ability and allow it to be more cost effective for operators to deploy networks in areas where coverage is rare,” Facebook says of the attempt. “By open-sourcing the hardware and software designs for this technology, we expect prices to fall for operators and to allow it to be accessible to new participants.”

The notion for an open source, quite customizeable and cost-effective cell system was something that was being worked on by Endaga, which Facebook got last year. Endaga constructed its first such network in Papua, Indonesia, with support from USAID and the Blum Center for Developing Markets, in early 2013.

Facebook says the Open Mobile system includes two fundamental systems, the General-baseband computing (GBC) system includes electricity, housekeeping microcontroller, microprocessor, time/sync module, detectors, and control mechanism.

All this is placed in an “advanced mounting solution that can handle high winds, excessive temperatures, and tough climates,” the firm says. The only element not included in the carton? Spectrum, a valuable resource that simply the world’s greatest, biggest insurance companies can manage. Those carriers have little interest in deploying to more rural markets due to cost, the job of something Facebook expects to address.

Facebook was obscure on a timeline for the job, only saying it is now examining the system in the laboratories at Facebook HQ and working with ODM and OEM partners to make the OpenCellular platform broadly accessible. Whether carriers will use it’s another issue completely.

by admin on July 9th, 2016 in Facebook

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