Monday, March 23, 2009

Open BTS

Anyone reading this blog who owns a small island in international waters that wants to run their own gsm network....lucky you found this blog, your problems are now solved.
OpenBTS is a software-based GSM access point, allowing standard GSM-compatible mobile phones. It is the first free software implementation of the industry-standard GSM protocol stack using an asterisk backend.

Below is a conference call recording from the Asterisk VUC group last week

Seriously this is too cool, wonder how long before someone gets caught using this for something nefarious like routing calls while evesdropping (eg man in the middle attacks), it would cost you to terminate the calls but if you are snopping on calls in the wall street financial district i'm sure the upside would be worth it.


Decided to post an update..... the irony of this update is that a while back i got an email from someone within the Govt of a small pacific island nation called Niue.
A few emails back and forth to find out if the email was legit and i hooked him up with a friend of mine Tim Panton who is very familiar with Asterisk, Voip, OpenBTS.

Yep you guess it.... Niue wanted to install OpenBTS to act as their "national cell carrier"

Here are some posts from Tim Panton about him installing the implementation;

Here is a link to the "project page" detailing the aspects of installing OpenBTS in Niue and lessons learned about installing low cost mobile phone netwroks for small islands ..... in case anyone else is doing a google search and finds this post - lol


  1. I just want to point out that ANY GSM BTS equipment, including low-cost femto cells and used micro-BTS units picked up on the surplus market for less than $1k, can be hacked to do man in the middle attacks. OpenBTS is not special in that regard and probably not even the cheapest path.

  2. Ignacio:
    Very interesting, I see more potential on low power emisions for indoor use.
    In the UK they are using the guard band. Please read and
    If you can produce your own SIMs and force the GSM phone to operate on a band just a bit outside the regular bands probably you have a commercial product for indoor use. No one will bother for a low emiter outsied de commercial bands for provate use
    Users can use dual SIM phones so they can hop from main operator to their home/office "VoIP-femtocell" using an ITSP service provider and say good bye to local land lines
    Please let me know if that can be achived