Facebook has launched OpenCellular, a cost-effective, software designed with wireless access platform that would help reduce the deficits of remote area access to cellular connectivity.
According to the company, the move became necessary after research showed that as at December 2015, four billion people still didn’t have access to the Internet and 10% of the world’s population were living outside of cellular connection with majority of these people living in remote areas — largely due to the fact that the infrastructure for implementing network connectivity is too expensive for certain areas.
OpenCellular supports a wide range of wireless service from 2G/LTE to Wi-Fi which allows anyone to customise the platform to satisfy any connectivity need and join any choice network. Facebook believes that the solution, which can either be used as a network in a box or purely as a cellular access point supporting 2G to LTE, is simple to install and requires minimal operational cost.
The company plans to open source the hardware design along with necessary firmware and control software to enable telecom operators, entrepreneurs, OEMs and researchers to be able to locally build and operate wireless infrastructure based on the platform, thereby decreasing the cost associated with civil and supporting infrastructure.
I’m keen to see how this tool could bring more people to the Internet, especially in remote areas in African countries.
Images via: Facebook