Feeds

DIY GSM network is go

A Blue Peter badge for Hackers At Random

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Delegates attending the Hacking At Random conference managed to string together their own GSM network, demonstrating just how ubiquitous, and modular, mobile telephony has become.

The network runs from antennae slung from a tree and connected to a PC running OpenBSC, a GPL-licensed free network infrastructure stack incorporating an HLR as well as base station software. With such thrown-together hardware the hackers have, for the last few days, been running a 2G GSM network at 900MHz, under a test licence from the Dutch regulator.

Base stations in trees

An easier version of Spot the Base Station

Without interconnectivity to the rest of the world the network is obviously of limited value for placing calls, but provided a base for those interested in playing around with radio networks as well as demonstrating just how quickly and cheaply a GSM network can be built these days.

Last year's Burning Man festival also managed to host a GSM network - available to a limited selection of subscribers. That project estimated the cost of radio equipment, at around $4,500 including converting calls to VoIP for routing over Wi-Fi. The Hacking At Random crowd didn't convert to VoIP, but they spent a lot less money too.

Projects like this demonstrate just how rapidly GSM could be deployed into a disaster area to provide coverage, even if the network operators weren't around to help. Of course, deploying such a thing without a licence would be illegal, and hard to conceal, but it's equally obvious that such things will inevitably happen. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.