Home > Disrup. Technology, Network As A Service > Build your own 4 G LTE pico cell, GPS receiver, Bluetooth, zig bee, etc.

Build your own 4 G LTE pico cell, GPS receiver, Bluetooth, zig bee, etc.


Software defined radio is like software defined networking but for radio networking, you can build whatever by updating the software. Recently a new project got funded on Kickstarter that allows radio amateurs to build anything they want related to radio. BladeRF is an open source USB 3.0 software defined radio for $400.

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So the usual suspects will be existing 4G, GPS, Zigbee, Wifi, etc. standards but what if some innovators start thinking outside of the box? White spaces would be one option. But what if 5G or 6G no longer is defined in standard bodies but by a community of open source amateurs that jointly work together? Probably it is going a step too far but M2M (machine to machine) / IoT (Internet of things) can still use more efficient standards. Also federated ad-hoc networks that circumvent local censorship or solve outages could become options. Let’s just hope Chinese suppliers can bring down the price of the BladeRF…

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  1. Michail Angelov
    December 16, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Interesting observation. Beside the “gadget” aspect of building LTE eNB, there is little to no business case behind it. Unlike other DIY areas, the LTE spectrum is a previous resource that only few selected companies have access to, so not really you the enterprises to play with. On the vendor side, the business is driven by volume, so such jigs could only be used to testing and academic activities, hacking also perhaps.

    • December 17, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      There are open source LTE software implementations and open source BTS hardware. A disruptor might want to target LTE equipment for the development world and use this to reduce cost of testing. Alternatively startups can use this for femtocell development and prototyping. So no production use but the ideal solution to get demos build for a kick starter project for instance.

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