Facebook, along with the other tech giants Google and Microsoft, have been trying to get the majority of the world’s population online. And in order to take this agenda forward, Facebook unveiled an open-source wireless platform that has the ability to provide internet access to the remote areas of the world. Named OpenCellular, the device is roughly the size of shoe-box and can support upto 1,500 connections across a 10-km range through a host of connectivity options from 2G to LTE.
According to a report by the United Nations Broadband Commission, more than 4 billion people among a 7.4 billion strong world population, don’t have access to basic internet services. More than 700 million people live in areas that are outside the range of cellular connectivity and thus, cannot connect to Facebook.
OpenCellular will be made open-source eventually, allowing researchers, telecom providers, experimenters and the likes to tinker around with its design. Facebook is testing out the boxes in its headquarters. The device is due to release this summer.
Facebook engineer Kashif Ali writes,”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. 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.”
OpenCellular is a part of Facebook’s initiatives to ensure global connectivity which includes its internet lasers and Acquila, Facebook’s solar powered, unmanned, internet-providing plane.
Image Source: Facebook
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