Running a Mobile Network on a Raspberry Pi
Part of Quortus’ philosophy is to take mobile core network functionality and distil it in to an application that can be run on commodity hardware, instead of the expensive heavy iron infrastructure currently used.
Our flagship product, SoftCore, places a core network with full GSM, 3G and LTE support in an application with as small a footprint as possible, capable of running on low-cost, off-the-shelf equipment. In an effort to showcase just how small our application is we thought we’d get it running on some really low-cost, easily available hardware: the $35 Raspberry Pi, a credit-card-sized single-board computer originally developed to help teach basic computer science in schools.
With our software mobile core application, the Raspberry Pi can become a fully functioning 3G and 4G network core and by adding a regular residential femtocell you have a complete mobile network: perhaps the smallest lowest-cost network there’s ever been! Using just Quortus SoftCore, an ip.access radio and the Raspberry Pi we are able to fully support voice calls, SMS and high speed data over 3G and LTE.
Once we had our LTE Raspberry Pi network set up we conducted some speed-tests, made some calls and sent some text messages which you can see some videos of below:
While this isn’t necessarily immediately suitable for commercial use, it goes some way to illustrate how our software can be used to lower the costs of network deployments. Our solution can be installed on low-cost, non-proprietary hardware or even to enable a ‘virtual core’ model where an operator or MVNO can have its core network hosted by a third party.