Open Source Mobile Phone Network

Hey all.. noob here.

Would something like this be possible, considering SDRs and controllers are becoming cheaper and more powerful at an ever increasing rate?

A distributed network of transceivers operating over open frequencies (or having new spectrum put aside for such) that would facilitate a cellular network.

If the boxes were say, $50 or less, small, waterproof and automatically configurable, and had a operating radius of a couple of km, then to me at least, it would seem to be the ideal solution to escape the telco-tyranny.  

Of course, the network would start out skinny, but as more and more people come to realize they can use their current phone hardware over a system that makes calls all but free, people would probably donate for hardware in certain areas, or buy boxes on their own.  At least they could make their phones part of the network and gain some of the advantages.

We need a bitcoin of telcos to kill the gouging we all suffer.  There must be a way, and I think this is it.

So, might I suggest:

A black box that bolts onto your home and is fully autonomous (upgrades might include storage / better antennas).  Power it up and it slips itself into the system.  A rule based system that works much like a blockchain, where the rules must be agreed to by a majority of units running the software (to help prevent hacks).  Encryption is open and upgradable.

A smaller, more simple and cheaper black box that can be attached to a PC that runs software to make up for the lack of hardware.

Software for phones, allowing them to act as routing devices with configurable bandwidth, power etc.

Specialized boxes that interact with the www, allowing users to reach outside of the mesh and touch the web.


Future upgrades: No more ISP.  The black boxes form the beginning of the new internet -- a mesh network with no central authority.  A system that is fully encrypted and capable of computations / storage directly on the network (maybe something like ethereum could be used for that).  Networks connected by any means available, such as transceiver drones, fiber links, optical, or even physically transported data (some sort of protocol that allows for data to exist in a router for an arbitrary amount of time, for situations when connectivity is very intermittent - smartphones running software for this would be ideal due to physical mobility).


Sounds great to me, the only thing is legal stuff. ICANN and IANA may flip out about the idea of a non centrally managed internet... Maybe we could use all encrypted packets across the existing infrastructure and the ISPs and NSA couldn't touch it? Might not be possible but its a cool idea, the technology is probably there


Also, its worth thinking about using existing copper to get gigabit to the subdivision to get an easy 100mbps to houses (1 gigabit box to 10 houses). Im no expert but seems like the speed of electricity would be fast enough to pull AT LEAST 1 gigabit, and that would allow us to leverage what we already have until we can save enough money to go all fiber. What would really be interesting is if there was a sort of combination fiber/radio if the fiber works the modem knows to use that line but if it doesn't it can contact a device like one of those black nodes that DOES have a connection to fiber and notify the ISP over email that somewhere in between point A and B there's a fiber cut, but the customer doesn't notice any difference 

Decentralized web is great, but you're going to need a large userbase if you're hoping to accomplish universal communication. Two points on opposite ends of the network would be constricted across thin areas of the network. You should consider joining larger groups who are already trying to do the same thing with large decentralized internet services. However if you're just looking into a much cheaper and user controlled mobile phone network, consider google voice. You can already call text and do everything else you would do with a phone. If you choose google you just have to worry about distribution, just relay the users internet service to their own device. You could even share the connection points, as long as people are willing to share a minuscule amount of broadband. However if that doesn't convince you, the best way to accomplish what you're describing would probably be through large directional antennas combined with a smaller omni-directional antenna. Something similar to Hak5's pineapple mesh network.