Facebook continues infrastructure push with OpenCellular

US social networking giant Facebook has added another string to its networking bow with the OpenCellular open source wireless access platform.

Facebook says the platform is aimed at improving connectivity in remote areas, thanks to its portability, simplicity and flexibility. The system is composed of two main subsystems: general-purpose and base-band computing (GBC) with integrated power and housekeeping system, and radio frequency (RF) with integrated analogue front-end.

Facebook opencellular 2

“With OpenCellular, we want to develop affordable new technology that can expand capacity and make it more cost-effective for operators to deploy networks in places where coverage is scarce,” said the announcement. “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.”

Facebook had previously announced another couple of initiatives aimed at bringing connectivity to underserved environments. In April of this year it launched Terragraph – a gigabit urban public wifi scheme using the 60 GHz band – and Project ARIES – a massive MIMO base station with 96 antennas with an eye on spectral efficiency.

As with the earlier projects OpenCellular is still at the planning phase and Facebook is looking for partners to take it into the field. It also intends to contribute OpenCellular to the Telecom Infra Project and is inviting interested parties to get in touch at [email protected].

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