Facebook, earlier today announced OpenCellular, an open source wireless access platform.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this in a Facebook post with some pictures of the box
which is about the size of a shoe box and can support up to 1,500 people from as far as 10 kilometers away.

On our journey to connect the world, today we announced OpenCellular — an open source wireless access platform to bring connectivity to remote areas of the world. Said Zuckerberg

According to the facebook technical page, here are some details about the OpenCellular.

  • The platform is designed to improve connectivity since it can be deployed to support a range of communication options, from a network in a box to an access point supporting everything from 2G to LTE.
  • 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 analog front-end.
  • Facebook plans to open-source the hardware design, along with necessary firmware and control software, to enable telecom operators, entrepreneurs, OEMs, and researchers to locally build, implement, deploy, and operate wireless infrastructure based on this platform.
  • We aim to work with Telecom Infra Project (TIP) members to build an active open source community around cellular access technology development and to select trial locations for further validation of technical, functional, and operational aspects of the platform.


The basic design principles are:

  • Modular design — enabling various existing and forthcoming cellular and wireless standards
  • Scalable solution for various population densities — for communities as small as a few hundred people
  • Low CAPEX and OPEX — enabling a broader range of business models
  • Simplified installation and support — minimize operational and support costs
  • Maximize existing and locally available infrastructure (pole, backhaul, power) — minimize civil costs
  • Localized manufacturing and lightweight supply chain — enable new OEM and support existing operators

Read more about this here