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Software for the network side of GSM

Operating your own GSM/2G cellular network in an indie community-based manner, without the kind of multi-billion-dollar budgets that were involved in the building of the world's original GSM/2G networks over 20 years ago, is a very software-intensive job. The needed physical hardware is called BTS (base transceiver station) and there is a small handful of community-serving commercial companies who make and sell suitable hardware — but the bulk of the work is in software.

The software stack we use to run our Themyscira Wireless GSM network is based on Osmocom CNI, but we (as in FreeCalypso and Themyscira Wireless) are not Osmocom: we retain our own sovereignty and independence, our own separate identity, and we use certain Osmocom software components merely as tools. In addition to those Osmocom sw components, we also use significant additional sw components which we developed and continue to develop ourselves, and our overall network architecture is our own.

SIM card programming tools

Anyone who operates their own GSM network typically needs to program and issue their own SIM cards — the alternative approach of letting alien SIMs onto your network in guest roaming mode with authentication and ciphering disabled is generally unattractive.

For our FreeCalypso & Themyscira community we have produced our own brand of programmable SIM cards, and we have our own software tools for programming these FreeCalypso Community SIMs and for other SIM manipulation, including thorough exploration of commercial operator-issued SIMs.

Software for Calypso-based GSM MS

Long before we got into the endeavor of running our own GSM network, the original mission of FreeCalypso was to serve as custodians over TI Calypso chipset for GSM MS, a mission scope that includes continued development and maintenance of the official Calypso GSM MS firmware that was originally developed and previously maintained by TI. We still maintain this firmware: our FreeCalypso firmware projects went through several evolutionary stages, and our current firmware is FC Tourmaline. This firmware runs on our FCDEV3B and Tango hardware platforms.

In addition to the firmware itself, we also have an extensive suite of host tools for loading our fw into Calypso devices, for breaking into locked-down Mot C1xx specimen, for interpreting debug traces emitted by various firmwares, for interacting with running firmwares on Calypso targets (both our own and some alien ones), for manipulating device flash file systems and so forth. These tools run under Unix/Linux, and are 100% our own original work.

The current development version of our FC host tools can be found in the freecalypso-tools Hg repository; released versions can be found in our main FTP area.

Other software

Software is much easier and quicker to develop than hardware, so we have a habit of producing a lot of it. We also follow a philosophy of sharing our work freely with the world whenever possible, and our primary method of making our work public is our collection of Mercurial repositories: any time we develop a new piece of software or produce some new documentation, every new development will typically appear in one of those source repositories before it appears anywhere else. We also have an FTP release area where we publish mature software releases and other more durable materials.