The industry’s march toward commodity hardware continued apace this week, as system integrator and small cell specialist Quortus squeezed a core network with full GSM, 3G and LTE support onto a Raspberry Pi.
The company said that its aim is to take mobile core network functionality and distil it in to an application that can be run on commodity hardware, instead of the expensive heavy iron infrastructure currently used. Quortus’ flagship product, SoftCore, placed a core network with full GSM, 3G and LTE support in an application with as small a footprint as possible, in this case, the $35 Raspberry Pi.
The software mobile core application turned the Raspberry Pi into a fully functioning 3G and 4G network core and by adding a regular residential femtocell created a complete mobile network able to fully support voice calls, SMS and data over 3G and LTE.
The caveat is that this project isn’t necessarily immediately suitable for commercial use. “But it goes some way to illustrate how our software can be used to lower the costs of network deployments and can be installed on low-cost, non-proprietary hardware or even to enable a ‘virtual core’ model where an operator or MVNO can have its core network hosted by a third party,” the company said.
This is not the first such attempt to make use of a Raspberry Pi in a mobile network. Earlier this year telecoms consultancy PA Consulting crammed a GSM cellular basestation onto the three inch device.