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Basestation created on Raspberry Pi

Wireless experts from PA Consulting have used a Raspberry Pi to run a mobile phone basestation that operates a private network.

The team hooked the Raspberry Pi up to a radio interface and, using Open Source software, implemented the functionality of a mobile basestation. Along with two mobile phones with sim cards, PA created all the functionality to make the phones talk to each other. PA set up its Raspberry Pi in a screened room to ensure no laws on frequency spectrum were broken.

Frazer Bennett, a technology expert with PA, said: "We've shrunk a 30ft basestation into a 3in Raspberry Pi and created our own mobile phone network. This proves what can be achieved through low cost off the shelf systems."

To create the basestation, PA:
• set up a Raspberry Pi in a screened room to ensure it didn't break any laws on frequency spectrum
• hooked up the Raspberry Pi to a radio interface
• hand optimised some software, and
• code optimised the signal processing

The Raspberry Pi was used to run three pieces of software:
• OpenBTS, which implements the GSM mobile phone standard
• FreeSWITCH, this routes calls in a similar way to Skype, and
• a programming script that assigns telephone numbers.

Author
Graham Pitcher

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