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Cellular Quick Start

Quick Start Guide to the ITP GSM Network


A few links to get you started

Join the OpenBTS-Discuss mailing list to start getting familiar with what OpenBTS is all about. If things break with the OpenBTS side of things, this is where you will want to ask questions.

Range Networks manages the public wiki for OpenBTS. OpenBTS is an Open Source project that has a commercial end as well. Poke around on the public wiki to get familiar with how the system works


Getting on the OpenBTS GSM network at ITP

You will need an unlocked GSM phone with an unlocked sim card. locked iPhones and locked iPhone sim cards will not work. Some android and blackberry phones are locked to a specific carrier as well.

The main US GSM carriers are T-Mobile and AT&T. International carrier sim cards will work as well. (Note: the ITP network will be operating in the GSM 850 Band)


Finding the Network:

In your phone's settings, find where you can select your network operator or carrier.

  • On an Android phone this is under: Settings -> Wireless & networks -> Mobile networks -> Network operators

The phone will then search for available networks. Select the ITP Network listed as 'TestBTS' or '001 01' depending on your phone

You may not see the ITP network ('TestBTS' or '001 01') at first and you may have to press 'Search networks' a few times (like 10 or more) before it sees the network.

If you cannot see the network we have a few sim cards that have been registered to the network you can check out. If you are sure your phone/simcard is not locked and you are still not seeing the network (this has happened) some of the older Nokia's (like the N80) in rob's office are pretty good at seeing the network. Once it has been registered to the network on any device it should camp to it pretty easily after that.

On the Network:

As of right now this is a purely "Local" testing network. That means that you can only make calls and send text messages to other devices on the same network. This will hopefully evolve to having a VoIP gateway so that you can make a receive calls and texts from any one on other networks.

The phone system is also based on Asterisk and your phone is acting like a basic SIP phone. This means that anything Asterisk can do, we can try out with this network. That includes calling scripts in Ruby or PHP and sending or retrieving database infer from mysql. (OH THE POWER!!)

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