OpenCellular is Facebook’s Affordable Solution for Remote Network Scarcity

July 8, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Facebook is working seamlessly to keep up with its vow of providing network access to remote areas. As a result, the tech behemoth has now come up with a smart remedy for tackling network unavailability in remote areas in the shape of a small device, called OpenCellular.

Unlike its previous efforts that dealt with lasers and solar-powered drones, Facebook’s latest addition under its global network booster mission comes as a handy and affordable option. The incorporation of these two perks also make the device more viable than setting up conventional network infrastructure. This is because traditional methods often get hampered by factors like set-up cost and space unavailability.

Facebook explains that OpenCellular will include a board for base-band computing as well as radio frequencies. Both of them can be powered up with the help of available power source in the locality, be it either through batteries, direct current, Ethernet or by solar means.


These are also designed to be modular, making the radio system work on the basis of a software or with an SoC system. The combined action of the radio and computing system can provide network signals ranging from 2G to LTE bandwidths, says the company. It can also give a leg up in setting up local network connections.

Despite being handy in size, Facebook says that OpenCellular is designed blending the industrial and mechanical requirements, making it capable of working in harsh conditions of high winds or extreme pressure and temperature.

Facebook has made OpenCellular an open-source hardware and software project, making it easier for telecom operators, entrepreneurs, and OEMs to manufacture their own versions using the technology.

Besides, the company is also planning to hand over its work to the Facebook aided initiative called Telecom Infra Project, which deals with exploring innovative methodologies for telecom infrastructure basics.

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