[Community] Next generation OpenPhoenux devices

Nick openphoenux at njw.me.uk
Mon Mar 18 15:30:48 CET 2013


On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 02:12:48PM +0100, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
> Am 18.03.2013 um 12:56 schrieb Sven Dyroff:
> > What about the closed firmware within the modem? 
> 
> Yes, it is closed. But why do you expect that it can be open(ed)?. Yes, it would be nice for the curious, but let's remain realistic.

The OpenBSC project appears to be making good progress on this, so I
don't think it's wholly unrealistic. After all, the vast majority of
phone vendors consider free drivers for graphics as "unrealistic";
this community is in the business of changing these expectations.

There are several clear advantages to having open code for the
modem:
- Bugs in the modem can be actually fixed (or at least are more
  likely to be able to be fixed). It's my understanding that the
  problems I had with GSM reliability on the GTA02 was due to the
  modem being buggy, though admittedly I don't know if this is
  something that could have been fixed at the firmware level.
- Awesome things like p2p mesh phone networks can be experimented
  with; it allows a greater level of the "doing things the designers
  never anticipated" sort of hacking.
- Security that you aren't being spied on more than is required by
  GSM. Your assurances and explanations of the GPS part of the modem
  being disabled are good and make sense, but more generally it's
  nice to be able to see exactly what's going on, and check for
  vulnerabilities - it's a pretty sensitive area of the design,
  after all.

Nick



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