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back to article Not now, Apple: We've got the Pi-Phone, the smallest mobe network

Engineers at communications tech biz Quortus have ported their mobile network core to a Raspberry Pi - perhaps creating the cheapest mobile network ever conceived. Guildford-based Quortus specialises in building telecoms network gear - but never before using a £30 ARM-powered PC that just needs to be plugged into a radio, such …

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Very very cool

First Pi project I've seen that makes me tempted to dig deeper (depending on cast of radio, which could sink this immediately). Roll your own femtocell....

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Joke

First create a mobe network with Raspberry Pis...

...then sell it to Orange, finally make sure all the punters using it only use Apple or Blackberry phones...

..and you've got yourself mobile fruit salad!

And I bet its still more reliable than Three!

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Re: fruit salad

I would like mine with a service of Ice Cream Sandwich

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Cost of 'spinning up a commercial version'

Probably $500-750k. But why do they need a commercial version? Are there features missing? Do they want the radio built in?

(Note, the Raspi CPU is a Broadcom SoC)

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Re: Cost of 'spinning up a commercial version'

You don't want an easily hackable version out there, so you have to play about with the design

On top of that you do a lot of testing, set up interconnectivity with the rest of the phone network, marketing your product, etc.

Its not a cheep thing to do.

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Re: Cost of 'spinning up a commercial version'

Probably the desire to have more of the work such as encryption done in hardware and you might want to put restrictions on the OS - stop someone hacking into the system simply be putting in a different SD-card.

I suspect that existing femto cells are very like this already. ARM's ubiquity already puts a lid on chip prices but other things like SDKs could be quite another matter. This might encourage chipmakers to make sure their chips can also work in the environment.

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Go

How about using it in small, remote and poor villages?

How about using it in small, remote and poor villages?

Just give it a big aerial and a bigger transceiver.

And everybody gets cool numbers like "1" and "2".

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It's great to see another company doing this kind of thing. We did something very similar with the raspberry pi last year, and published the how to do it in our own youtube vid (google raspberry pi basestation). It turns out that you can do most of this with open source software and a COTS radio.

I would be interested to know what type of radio this is hooked up to - that's where most of the cost is.

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Joke

Look! A Windows Phone

Mr Orlowski will pleased to see the other one in use!

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I don't see why this deserves its own article. Things like this have already been possible for a while using projects like Osmocom. Being open source, these things can be easily compiled for ARM.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Things like this have already been possible for a while

"Things like this have already been possible for a while using projects like Osmocom. Being open source, these things can be easily compiled for ARM."

Seems reasonable.

On the other hand, the magick here is doing it on a $30(ish) computer which loads of folk have heard of, and almost everyone can afford.

The RF side of things is of course a different question - almost no one's heard of that stuff, and most individuals wouldn't be in the market for buying that stuff.

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Well back when GSM came out...

...it was the early 1990s. And since nanocells do have all the data processing inside, all you need to do is to care about signaling. And that's not a lot of work since it had to be done by 1990 general purpose computers.

Once we get full access to the main CPU of the Pi, there will be a whole array of uses for that little board.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple is not aware that patents last for a maximum of 20 years. Prior Art including that found in expired patents nullifies the novel aspect of ideas making their way into current patents.

Then again Apple does not even the the business sense of a two year old. Repackaging other companies technology and selling at a higher price is just stupidity.

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