OpenBTS and Asterisk: Going Mobile

One of the great things about working with the Asterisk community is seeing the fantastic ways in which other people have used the code to solve their unusual or interesting problems with telecommunications. I’d like to talk briefly about one of the most exciting projects I’ve seen in a while, which is using Asterisk as a toolkit for routing calls on an open-source GSM cell base station.

The OpenBTS project has created an Open-Source method of doing just that, with a combination of off-the-shelf hardware and open-source code. The basic idea is this: with a USB-connected USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) the software creates a connection to local GSM handsets. The software identifies itself as a BTS (Base Transceiver Station) and then is able to accept and create calls to GSM handsets. Using Asterisk on the other side of this “driver” allows easy connections between GSM phones and VoIP endpoints, and all of the flexible routing that Asterisk provides. The best descriptions are examples – check out the temporary network the developers set up at Burning Man this year as an experiment.

Read the complete article here.

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