Hardware Freedom Day sees Fairwaves launch first industrial-grade open-source base station

GSM base station for OpenBTS and OsmoBTS uses Lime FPRF Transceivers, paving the way to LTE

Fairwaves has launched the industry’s first truly open-source professional-grade base station transceiver, called UmTRX, to coincide with the second annual Hardware Freedom Day. Transceiver hardware was the last missing piece in the open-source GSM ecosystem. This has never happened before in the telecom industry that anyone could build a complete base station from open-source pieces.

The UmTRX launch advances the open-source model beyond the current USRP systems, where typically schematics, but not layout files were published. It also aims to take a truly open-source model – applied to mainly hobbyists and lab use – to industrial and carrier-grade quality applications.

Designed for GSM, the base station transceiver uses Lime Microsystem‘s LMS6002D field programmable RF (FPRF) transceiver IC, which can be configured to run on any communications frequency (0.3-3.8GHz) and any mobile communications standard (LTE, WCDMA, WiMAX…).

Alexander Chemeris, Fairwaves CEO said: “UmTRX was created as a GSM base station transceiver, but the capabilities of the FPRF means that we can deploy it for LTE and other systems with a very small incremental cost. We are also using the UHD API, familiar to all USRP users, so people can use their existing applications with UmTRX”.

Ebrahim Bushehri, Lime CEO said: “This is a really important innovation and I feel this could have a huge impact on the future deployment of wireless infrastructure, especially in the creation of low cost networks for the developing world.”

Fairwaves claims that its UmTRX is the easiest way of running OpenBTS and OsmoBTS in a lab. The UmTRX also acts as a transceiver for UmSITE – a complete base station, manufactured by Fairwaves. The UmTRX for UmSITE are rigorously tested and calibrated during manufacturing, ensuring best performance throughout the whole range of operating temperatures.

The platform is on sale now, following a successful beta program with selected customers. The units could be ordered via the Contact Form.