I came across two very interesting articles on OpenBTS at EngineeringForChange and HookedOnMobile. This open source project allows anyone to setup their own GSM network for about $4,500 offering a 16KM radius of service. I believe this is a game changer.

It reminds me of the WiFi mesh I setup a few years ago in Goa covering a .5KM distance using 3 54G routers and a few signal boosters. It handled quite a bit of VoIP and LTSP terminal traffic and cost only the price of the routers.

I think this OpenSource GSM project could be adapted by many companies that work in clearly defined areas like taxis, food delivery and even sales. You can hand out your office land-line number and still be reached 16kms from the office. ;)

I wonder what are the legalities of setting up your own GSM network. I’d love to setup one of my own, just for fun!

The picture below shows the tent hosting the test equipment at Burning Man.