Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
50 messages Options
123
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Peter Stuge
Andreas Eversberg wrote:

> Peter Stuge wrote:
> >> Also, the current 'mobile' code probably needs to be split into the
> >> > actual 'logic' code (L2, L3, cell [re]selection, etc.) and the
> >> > 'application' part (the VTY based interface we have right now).
> >>    
> > I think this is a great first step, and a very easy way to get
> > involved for someone who is not yet so experienced with GSM, but
> > already has a good understanding of C on PCs.
> >  
> i think it would help if we look at the VTY commands and what they tell
> the stack and what they receive as response. i suggest defining "MMI_*"
> message primitves for an interface. other applications, like the UI
> could use and connect to the same interface. (possibly other
> applications like AT command interface) i suggest defining the if at 28c3.

+1


//Peter

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

suraev
In reply to this post by Peter Stuge
13.12.2011 16:30, Peter Stuge пишет:

> Look at libpayload. It's a libc-like project for writing coreboot
> payloads, ie. running on bare metal, and implements some of libc
> either on it's own or by borrowing from other OS projects. BSD
> license.

There's also uClibc port http://linux-c6x.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page for another TI
dsp. But I'm not sure how much efforts it'll take to port it to calypso and others.

cheers,
Max.

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Alexander Chemeris
In reply to this post by Harald Welte-3

Hi Harald and all,

I want to point that except usual mobile phones there are GSM modems which do not require any UI and thus require less work to be done. Also they are often connected to a power grid and don't have strict power consumption limits. And at last, but not at least modem users often need some peculiat functionality, which they would love to see embedded. And that's where OsmocomBB stands out significantly from all existing modems.

I'm not sure if there are any modems based on Calypso chipset, but even a phone serving as a modem may suffice in some cases.

--
Alexander Chemeris
Sent from my Android device. Sorry for my brevity.

On Dec 11, 2011 2:55 PM, "Harald Welte" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi all!

I've mentioned this before, and I keep getting back to it:  With all the
great work that has been put into OsmocomBB, we are "at an arms lengh"
away from being able to create a true Free Software mobile phone.

We already have the hardware drivers, protocol stack and even the
'mobile' program which can be used for making and receiving voice calls
and sending/receiving SMS text messages on real GSM networks!

While the journey has been a lot of fun and everyone involved has
learned a lot, we have so far been catering mstly about "scratching our
own itch", i.e. implementing what we needed in order to satisfy our ego
and/or to implement the ideas we had regarding cellular security.

I believe we cannot miss the bigger opportunity here to put our code
into bigger use:  To create something like a very simple GSM feature
phone.

When we look at various areas of computing like Operating Systems or Web
browsers, Free Software is not just "the hobby project catching up" with
the vendors of proprietary software.  Free Software can compete.

In the cellular area, we have still not managed to even implement the
most basic GSM feature phone that existed 15 years ago using proprietary
software.  We need to work on closing that gap.  We need to show that a
small community of Free Software developers can actually implement what
teams of hundreds of engineers did in a proprietary software setting 15
years ago - despite all the lack of hardware documentation or any kind
of positive feedback from the cellular chipset, handset or operator
industry.

If we don't at least get a 2G GSM cellphone implemented now, it will
probably not happen before 2G networks become insignificant in large
parts of the world.

This is a call to all hands, please support this project!

Regards,
       Harald

== Technical aspects ==

I believe the first major decision is whether we focus on

1) the Openmoko FreeRunner / Neo1973 phones

Advantages:
 * large screen for UI with bells and whistles
 * lots of RAM and Flash, even script languages or compilation on the
  device itself possible
 * second processor doesn't require us to run stack + UI on once CPU
 * easier debugging of UI
 * various existing telephony middleware and phone dialer UI projects
  of which hopefully one could be recycled

or

2) the Motorola/Compal C1xx phones

Advantags:
 * many more phones available, even after our software is released
 * lower cost of the individual phone
 * less power consumption due to only one small ARM7 core
 * smaller screen also means less fancy UI requirements

Problems:
 * full stack + UI needs to run on calypso (L2/L3) and we'd probably
  some kind of RTOS like NuttX instead of our 'bare iron' code.

==== What we need in any case ====

 * power management on the baseband processor through all of the stack
  (though it's mostly a driver/L1 kind of thing)

== Summary / Opinion ==

It seems like running the OsmocomBB layer1 + 'mobile' as-is on the
Openmoko baseband + application processor might be the quicker road to
progress.  Sure, the power consumption will be horrible as the AP will
have to be woken up for each and every SI message, neighbor cell
measurment or paging request that ew see comining in in our paging group
(even in idle mode).  But then, there is always the negative impact of
using a relatively complex system, with two processors, a complex
software stack (Linux, X11, toolkit, etc.) on one of them, etc.

On the other hand, using the C1xx phones will result in a much more
widely available result.  The phones can still be bought in batches of
1,000 units, and they are small enough for lots of people to carry
around.  Furthermore, the battery lifetime is far beyond anything you
would ever be able to achieve on a power-hungry smartphone platform.  I
believe it would be the "smart' solution, as it means we need to get
everything integrated, etc.

What does the community on this list think?  Which way shoul we go?

But maybe the best thing is to actually stat working on the power
management aspects, as we will need them in both cases.

Happy hacking,
       Harald
--
- Harald Welte <[hidden email]>           http://laforge.gnumonks.org/
============================================================================
"Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
                                                 (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Harald Welte-3
Hi Alexander,

On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 02:02:34PM +0300, Alexander Chemeris wrote:

> I want to point that except usual mobile phones there are GSM modems which
> do not require any UI and thus require less work to be done. Also they are
> often connected to a power grid and don't have strict power consumption
> limits. And at last, but not at least modem users often need some peculiat
> functionality, which they would love to see embedded. And that's where
> OsmocomBB stands out significantly from all existing modems.
>
> I'm not sure if there are any modems based on Calypso chipset, but even a
> phone serving as a modem may suffice in some cases.

I don't think thre is much point to that.  If you have an industrial
embedded/m2m application, then the first thing you worry about is
reliability.  There you want to have a GSM stack that is tested and
evaluated thoroughly, and which is deployed for a decade or two, in as
many networks as possible.

Sierra, Cinterion, Wavecom and others have a well-established market,
and their products do very well in adressing that markets needs.  I
don't see what OsmoocmBB would bring that they'd require.

The target user for the "OsmocomBB based phone" would be primarily a
"free software enthusiast", i.e. somebody who likes Free Software for
the fredom that it has.  And such users are interested in real
telephones, notin modems for embedded systems.

--
- Harald Welte <[hidden email]>           http://laforge.gnumonks.org/
============================================================================
"Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
                                                  (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Peter Stuge
Harald Welte wrote:
> > I'm not sure if there are any modems based on Calypso chipset, but
> > even a phone serving as a modem may suffice in some cases.
>
> I don't think thre is much point to that.

Don't be so sure. I've met competent engineers who have very weird
issues with their M2M equipment being suddenly unreachable on the
network without the modem reporting any error status.


> Sierra, Cinterion, Wavecom and others have a well-established market,
> and their products do very well in adressing that markets needs.  I
> don't see what OsmoocmBB would bring that they'd require.

This is also not neccessarily for us to see. I think it's an
interesting and relevant parallell track. There's no reason *not* to
do it when it is *easier* than the other things we want to do, is my
reasoning somehow.


> The target user for the "OsmocomBB based phone" would be primarily a
> "free software enthusiast", i.e. somebody who likes Free Software
> for the fredom that it has.

Also not neccessarily the only market we have. By now it's easy to
customize your smartphone with tons of apps and so on, but regular
users also like to change technology to fit them now and then. OK, it
could be argued that they fall under the definition of free software
enthusiasts, but the people I think of usually don't.


> And such users are interested in real telephones, notin modems for
> embedded systems.

Maybe they have laptops and would like to use open source internet
connectivity as well. In Berlin there's e.g. never 3G service
available anyway, so 2G-only may be fine.

Just because it's not for me or you doesn't mean that noone else will
not want it. :)


//Peter

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Alexander Chemeris

Excuse me for offtopic: I wonder why there is no 3G in Berlin? This looks quite weird.

--
Alexander Chemeris
Sent from my Android device. Sorry for my brevity.

On Dec 13, 2011 4:59 PM, "Peter Stuge" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Harald Welte wrote:
> > I'm not sure if there are any modems based on Calypso chipset, but
> > even ...

Don't be so sure. I've met competent engineers who have very weird
issues with their M2M equipment being suddenly unreachable on the
network without the modem reporting any error status.



> Sierra, Cinterion, Wavecom and others have a well-established market,
> and their products do ve...

This is also not neccessarily for us to see. I think it's an
interesting and relevant parallell track. There's no reason *not* to
do it when it is *easier* than the other things we want to do, is my
reasoning somehow.



> The target user for the "OsmocomBB based phone" would be primarily a
> "free software enthusiast...

Also not neccessarily the only market we have. By now it's easy to
customize your smartphone with tons of apps and so on, but regular
users also like to change technology to fit them now and then. OK, it
could be argued that they fall under the definition of free software
enthusiasts, but the people I think of usually don't.



> And such users are interested in real telephones, notin modems for
> embedded systems.

Maybe they have laptops and would like to use open source internet
connectivity as well. In Berlin there's e.g. never 3G service
available anyway, so 2G-only may be fine.

Just because it's not for me or you doesn't mean that noone else will
not want it. :)


//Peter

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Harald Welte-3
Hi Alexander,

On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 04:09:56PM +0300, Alexander Chemeris wrote:
> Excuse me for offtopic: I wonder why there is no 3G in Berlin? This looks
> quite weird.

it depends on the Operator and where you are.  They all only use 2100
MHz for 3G, not the lower 900/1800 MHz bands (which they could do
legally after a EU regulation).  But yes, indoor coverage can be really
bad.  For example in my apartment it is difficult to have 3G of all
operators, and the one I use mostly (Eplus) barely has 2G coverage here.
T-mobile and Vodafone are generally better.

It's of course different if you're at major locations like train
stations or the big squares downtown...

Another note:  I've recently seen some operator predictions for Germany,
and they assume something like GSM being in operation until 2020 -
definitely significantly longer than the life time of their existing GSM
licenses (expiring in 2016).  This tells us a lot about the
installed/deployed user base, as well as the limited 3/3.5/4G coverage..

Regards,
        Harald
--
- Harald Welte <[hidden email]>           http://laforge.gnumonks.org/
============================================================================
"Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
                                                  (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Alexander Chemeris

Harald, interesting information!
Do you have a link to those carrier predictions?

--
Alexander Chemeris
Sent from my Android device. Sorry for my brevity.

On Dec 13, 2011 6:19 PM, "Harald Welte" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi Alexander,


On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 04:09:56PM +0300, Alexander Chemeris wrote:
> Excuse me for offtopic: I won...

it depends on the Operator and where you are.  They all only use 2100
MHz for 3G, not the lower 900/1800 MHz bands (which they could do
legally after a EU regulation).  But yes, indoor coverage can be really
bad.  For example in my apartment it is difficult to have 3G of all
operators, and the one I use mostly (Eplus) barely has 2G coverage here.
T-mobile and Vodafone are generally better.

It's of course different if you're at major locations like train
stations or the big squares downtown...

Another note:  I've recently seen some operator predictions for Germany,
and they assume something like GSM being in operation until 2020 -
definitely significantly longer than the life time of their existing GSM
licenses (expiring in 2016).  This tells us a lot about the
installed/deployed user base, as well as the limited 3/3.5/4G coverage..

Regards,
       Harald

--
- Harald Welte <[hidden email]> http://laforge.gnumonks.org/
===================...

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Peter Stuge
In reply to this post by Alexander Chemeris
Alexander Chemeris wrote:
> Excuse me for offtopic: I wonder why there is no 3G in Berlin? This
> looks quite weird.

Sorry - I was unclear. There are networks, but there is not nearly
enough capacity for all users. This isn't neccessarily because of
inadequate infrastructure, it may just be the best we can do with
the shared medium at the cost of what the market is prepared to pay.

When a Berlin friend visited Sweden his 3G USB modem LED was suddenly
shining with a color he had never seen before.


//Peter

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Alexander Chemeris

Interesting. In Moscow WiMAX quality is very unstable, but 3G/UMTS works pretty well. At least it's much faster then EDGE. Coverage is another topic, but it's not that bad given that 3G is still being rolled out. Having only this experience I expected similar situation in other major cities. Apparently different history and background make their corrections.

--
Alexander Chemeris
Sent from my Android device. Sorry for my brevity.

On Dec 13, 2011 6:47 PM, "Peter Stuge" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Alexander Chemeris wrote:
> Excuse me for offtopic: I wonder why there is no 3G in Berlin? This
> lo...

Sorry - I was unclear. There are networks, but there is not nearly
enough capacity for all users. This isn't neccessarily because of
inadequate infrastructure, it may just be the best we can do with
the shared medium at the cost of what the market is prepared to pay.

When a Berlin friend visited Sweden his 3G USB modem LED was suddenly
shining with a color he had never seen before.


//Peter

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Harald Welte-3
In reply to this post by Alexander Chemeris
On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 05:45:51PM +0300, Alexander Chemeris wrote:
> Harald, interesting information!
> Do you have a link to those carrier predictions?

they are some convoluted, lengthy German documents that are published
as part of the official gazette of the German regulatory authority
"Bundesnetzagentur"...

--
- Harald Welte <[hidden email]>           http://laforge.gnumonks.org/
============================================================================
"Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
                                                  (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Martin Hinner
In reply to this post by Harald Welte-3
Hi,

 my 2 cents to the topic: I think the discussed situation (or target
audience) will change rapidly if there is open-source "mobile phone",
easy-to-configure, but for modern "low-cost" chipsets. Chinese
manufacturers will then very likely use the code for mass-production.
With CE certification/etc. I think that most of low-cost phones that
come from China use Infineon ULC eGOLDvoice or MTK.

 I know one importer of Chinese phones who was complaining about
problems during development (mainly user interface stuff). Having
possibility to use open-source and change it the way they like would
definitely be interesting for them.

 And regarding argument about legality of modifying firmware in WiFi
devices, there is a huge difference. Re-flashing AP with Linux
(openwrt/etc) does not change anything in RF layer. osmocomBB is now
mostly about playing with RF :-).

Martin

PS: Has anyone  access to Infineon ULC (C166) reference design kit
code (or some source code or more detailed datasheets) ?

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Harald Welte-3
Hi Martin,

On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 06:01:44PM +0100, Martin Hinner wrote:

>  my 2 cents to the topic: I think the discussed situation (or target
> audience) will change rapidly if there is open-source "mobile phone",
> easy-to-configure, but for modern "low-cost" chipsets. Chinese
> manufacturers will then very likely use the code for mass-production.
> With CE certification/etc. I think that most of low-cost phones that
> come from China use Infineon ULC eGOLDvoice or MTK.

Why do you think so?  The chipset vendors provide their GSM stack
together with the chips anyway.  I would argue that it is even difficult
to get components (in quantity) + data sheets etc. from them _without_
also getting the baseband stack from them.

So why would any vendor be interested in switching to another stack?

Also, always remember, we have no GPRS/EDGE support, and we won't have
it any time soon due to the size of the task at hand.

>  I know one importer of Chinese phones who was complaining about
> problems during development (mainly user interface stuff). Having
> possibility to use open-source and change it the way they like would
> definitely be interesting for them.

Without wanting to insult anyone here, my experience in the industry
shows that no importer, not even the chinese phone manufacturers
typically have any where near the skills required to do meaningful
modifications to the GSM stack of a mobile phone.

The typical situation is to the opposite:  They run to MTK with all of
their issues, because they cannot even resolve the most simple one.
After all, they are hardware mass-manufacturing companies, and not
die-hard communications protocols and/or OS developers.

>  And regarding argument about legality of modifying firmware in WiFi
> devices, there is a huge difference. Re-flashing AP with Linux
> (openwrt/etc) does not change anything in RF layer. osmocomBB is now
> mostly about playing with RF :-).

I think you may be mistaken about a lot of the 'softmac', see
http://linuxwireless.org/en/developers/Documentation/Glossary#SoftMAC

In fact, a lot of wifi chips don't have any baseband firmware, but
simply let the driver/stack take care of that.

Also see
http://www.softwarefreedom.org/resources/2007/fcc-sdr-whitepaper.html on
that subject.

--
- Harald Welte <[hidden email]>           http://laforge.gnumonks.org/
============================================================================
"Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
                                                  (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)

Mh
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Legal aspects / Free Software GSM baseband code

Mh
In reply to this post by Harald Welte-3
can anybody point out an "open" project offering RF schemes and models plus baseband and mac implementation of Wifi ? any HDL or embedded stack is acceptable . i think the answer to this says a lot about other projects claiming open approach toward any widespread commercial radio system

On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 11:22 AM, Harald Welte <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 12:59:08AM +0100, Jay R. Worthington wrote:

> what do you expect to happen from a legal standpoint? My guess would be
> that the providers will fight an opensource firmware with every
> firebreathing lawyer in der reach, and if they won't do that, RegTP (or
> whatever they are call themself this week ;)) for sure will, a firmware
> that would reject some evil RRLP queries can't be tolerated :-S

Hi Jay,

in fact, my legal analysis had been quite optimistic, at least for
Europe.  the RT&TTE directive largely regulates the sale and
distribution of "devices" that transmit on radio frequencies.  Devices
need to have CE markings and a declaration of conformity.  As GSM
terminals are part of harmonized standards, the vendor can either
certify himself that the devices are CE compliant, or he can use a
'notified body' (a certification lab) to do that externally.  The
Procedure is described in Annex III of the directive.

The testing that needs to be done is in EN 301 511, and EN 301 489-7

However, this all only applies if you distribute the devices with
modified firmware.  The device with original firmware of course is
compliant to the directive and has a Motorola declaration of conformity.

Distributing the OsmocomBB firmware itself is certainly not a "device"
under the current legislation.

Installing + Using it as a user [on a public network] might pose a legal
risk, but to be honest I wouldn't know what kind of regulation that
would be.   There might be a breach of contract of your operator terms
of services.  And of course, if the firmware misbehaves and causes RF
interference, that would be transmission without a radio license, or in
the worst case interference with public communications networks.

But then, at the same time, lots of people already use Free Software
based firmware in their WiFi chips, and I think we've had a lot of
discussion in that area.  Nonetheless, many people do it...

An no, there is no real difference here due to the fact that 2.4 GHz ist
unregulated spectrum.  You also have to make sure that the frequency,
transmission power, harmonics, etc. fall within the rules set forth in
the harmonized standards.

Regards,
       Harald
--
- Harald Welte <[hidden email]>           http://laforge.gnumonks.org/
============================================================================
"Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
                                                 (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)


Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

OT / Wifi

Harald Welte-3
Hi Mohammad,

On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 08:45:20PM +0330, Mohammad Hosein wrote:
> can anybody point out an "open" project offering RF schemes and models plus
> baseband and mac implementation of Wifi ? any HDL or embedded stack is
> acceptable . i think the answer to this says a lot about other projects
> claiming open approach toward any widespread commercial radio system

This is really OT here and should go to a more general SDR mailinglist
like the gnuradio list, but for your reference:
https://www.cgran.org/wiki/BBN80211

--
- Harald Welte <[hidden email]>           http://laforge.gnumonks.org/
============================================================================
"Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
                                                  (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Scott Weisman
In reply to this post by Harald Welte-3
On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 7:09 PM, Harald Welte <[hidden email]> wrote:
Also, always remember, we have no GPRS/EDGE support, and we won't have
it any time soon due to the size of the task at hand.

I think this is another reason to support the C1xx phones. 
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

David A. Burgess
In reply to this post by Harald Welte-3
Harald -

Some operators have told us that they expect to continue GSM/EDGE service for another 10-15 years, especially in rural areas.  At Range, we borrow a line from King James Bible, "GSM will be with us always, even unto the ends of the Earth."

UMTS is designed to deliver high data rates over fairly short distances and has poor power-efficiency characteristics for both the Node B and the UE.  LTE is a step further in that direction.  As long as that trend continues, which it will because that's where the money is, 2.xG systems will have no cost-effective replacements in areas with low subscriber density.

-- David


On Dec 13, 2011, at 6:19 AM, Harald Welte wrote:

>
> Another note:  I've recently seen some operator predictions for Germany,
> and they assume something like GSM being in operation until 2020 -
> definitely significantly longer than the life time of their existing GSM
> licenses (expiring in 2016).  This tells us a lot about the
> installed/deployed user base, as well as the limited 3/3.5/4G coverage..
>


Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Sébastien Lorquet-2
In reply to this post by Martin Hinner
(Sorry Martin that was for the list)

Le 13/12/2011 18:01, Martin Hinner a écrit :
> Chinese manufacturers will then very likely use the code for mass-production.
> With CE certification/etc.

Yeah... Do you mean... "China Export" certification? No problem to get
this one :-)

Regards
Sebastien

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Peter Stuge
In reply to this post by Harald Welte-3
Harald Welte wrote:
> Without wanting to insult anyone here, my experience in the industry
> shows that no importer, not even the chinese phone manufacturers
> typically have any where near the skills required to do meaningful
> modifications to the GSM stack of a mobile phone.
>
> The typical situation is to the opposite:  They run to MTK with all of
> their issues, because they cannot even resolve the most simple one.
> After all, they are hardware mass-manufacturing companies, and not
> die-hard communications protocols and/or OS developers.

I think the point with an open source software based phone for
businesses is that it creates a new market for development service
and solution providers, meaning more products to choose from, and
products that can fill existing gaps. You of course know this too
since it's exactly the kind of services sysmocom provides. :)


//Peter

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

Martin Hinner
In reply to this post by Harald Welte-3
Harald,

On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 6:09 PM, Harald Welte <[hidden email]> wrote:

>>  my 2 cents to the topic: I think the discussed situation (or target
>> audience) will change rapidly if there is open-source "mobile phone",
>> easy-to-configure, but for modern "low-cost" chipsets. Chinese
>> manufacturers will then very likely use the code for mass-production.
>> With CE certification/etc. I think that most of low-cost phones that
>> come from China use Infineon ULC eGOLDvoice or MTK.
>
> Why do you think so?  The chipset vendors provide their GSM stack
> together with the chips anyway.  I would argue that it is even difficult
> to get components (in quantity) + data sheets etc. from them _without_
> also getting the baseband stack from them.
> So why would any vendor be interested in switching to another stack?

The reason is simple, if the code (not just the GSM stack) provides
something more that MTK/Infineon RDK, they would be more than happy
to! My company is dealing with China. We are using them to purchase
low-cost parts, but they are also our competitors (they even copied
our products: have a look at our http://www.obdtester.com/focom vs.
http://sinosells.com/goods-7453-Ford+VCM+OBD.html - and thousands of
other Chinese webshops!). You would not believe how they are hungry
for even small improvements.

They are VERY GOOD at copying (in terms of both legal and illegal
copies), but if it comes to some improvements ... If OSS comes with
anything better than Infineon/MTK, they will surely use it. And I do
not think it's difficult to improve for example user interface (which
is horrible, btw).

> Without wanting to insult anyone here, my experience in the industry
> shows that no importer, not even the chinese phone manufacturers
> typically have any where near the skills required to do meaningful
> modifications to the GSM stack of a mobile phone.

Not all of them :-). This one I was talking about is capable of doing
many things. One of company shareholders (by the way, he is not even
programmer!) would be able to modify the user interface code
himself... but the point is not that some importer would play with the
code himself - Chinese manufacturer would do it for them. It's about
giving wider range of options to the customer.

Martin

123