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Facebook OpenCellular: Internet Wherever You Go

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerbug, is at it again and this time with Facebook OpenCellular!

Despite the setbacks of a similar program to Facebook OpenCellular, Facebook is determined to make OpenCellular’s dream a reality. The purpose of OpenCellular is to provide as many people with wireless Internet access.

Zuckerbug has expressed his wish to provide as many people as possible with Internet access and Facebook. He hopes that Facebook will reach 5 billion users by 2030.

A few months back, Facebook reported having 1.65 billion active users with another 1.51 billion who regularly use the mobile application. Cisco predicts that 5.5 billion people (70 percent of the world’s population!) will be using mobile devices by the end of 2030.

The problem is that Internet access isn’t always available or reliable for those who reside in remote parts of the world. Although many technology companies, such as Google, are trying to propose solutions to the problem things haven’t been sailing smoothly.

OpenCellular is designed to support various connections from 2G to LTE. According to Facebook engineer Kashif Ali, OpenCellular’s system will be open sourced. This helps organizations so that organizations can easily build the appropriate framework to use the platform. The OpenCellular system is the size of a shoebox and can support 1,500 people as long as they are within 10 kilometers of the system. In addition, the system is both sturdy and adaptable. It supports a variety of power sources ranging from batteries to solar and can endure different climates.

So far, OpenCellular is able to support voice calling, transfer data using 2G connection, and can send and receive SMS text messages. OpenCellular is still in development and is expected to be completed this summer.

Facebook is planning to collaborate with the Telecom Infra Project, an engineering-focused effort to build a telecom network base, to develop an open source community in support of OpenCellular.

Ali states, “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.”

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