EE backed a tiny project that could change the way mobile networks work

The Raspberry Pi of mobile networks

Business crowdsourcing got another thumbs up from British mobile network operator, EE, as it backed a little known initiative called LimeSDR by investing $99,000 (around £65,000, AU$110,000).

The outfit is a low-cost, open source, apps-enabled software defined radio (SDR) platform that can be used to support almost any wireless communication standard (UMTS, LTE, GSM, Bluetooth, Zigbee, RFID etc).

Because it is powered by a Linux distribution (Snappy Ubuntu), applications as diverse as aviation transponders or radio astronomy can be run on the device within minutes.

Raspberry Pi for MNOs

The beauty of software-defined solutions is that operators themselves or their clients can either use existing services built as apps or build their own in order to extend existing features using cheap kit.

That's right, no need to buy expensive hardware and solutions from established players like Juniper and Cisco if you want to move up gears.

Cutting the middlemen means that it's cheaper and easier than ever before. The (tiny) investment will get EE a 100-unit bundle of the kit which will be given to five UK universities nominated by EE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré (Twitter, Google+) has been musing and writing about technology since 1997. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, developing an uncanny attraction for anything silicon, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro.