Creating GSM Users Association (GSMUA)

Serg l serg at
Tue May 9 19:44:43 UTC 2017

Hi Mychaela,

You brought up a tricky subject and I definitely would be interested to
hear some feedback from someone who dealt with various government bodies in
different countries.

Website hosting is the easy part :)


On Tue, May 9, 2017 at 11:37 AM, Mychaela Falconia <
mychaela.falconia at> wrote:

> Hello FreeCalypso and Osmocom communities,
> I am in the process of creating an informal organisation representing
> the interests of those members of the GSM universe whose interests are
> not represented by GSMA etc, and I am inviting you to join me in this
> venture.  I propose that we name our informal organisation GSMUA,
> standing for GSM Users Association, and my vision for this GSMUA is to
> be a counter-body (antibody?) to the official GSMA.  I just registered
> the domain name, but there is no website or mailing list set
> up yet.  If someone from the Osmocom camp would like to host the
> server infrastructure for, I will happily point the DNS to
> you, otherwise the FreeCalypso family can host it on our server.
> My vision for GSMUA is to represent the interests of GSM end users
> (empowered end users who wish to fully own and control all aspects of
> their user equipment while operating on public mobile networks in a
> fully spec-compliant manner), small boutique manufacturers of GSM
> devices (both MS/user equipment and network infrastructure), small
> community network operators and others whose interests are not
> represented by GSMA etc, especially in cases where our interests are
> in direct conflict with the interests of big players such as giant
> device manufacturers, giant commercial network operators and
> governments.
> A key goal of GSMUA is to be project-neutral, that is, every person
> and every small company belonging to any of the categories listed
> above (empowered end user, small boutique device manufacturer, small
> community network operator etc) should be fully welcome regardless of
> which specific project they are associated with.  As of today there
> are at least two different projects offering GSM MS implementations
> (OsmocomBB and FreeCalypso) and at least two different projects
> offering network-side GSM implementations (Osmocom and OpenBTS), and I
> hope that this number of available alternatives will continue to grow:
> freedom of choice is always a good thing.  But at the present time
> there exists no neutral soil on which members of different projects
> with a common interest (GSM networks and devices serving the interests
> of end users rather than big corporations and governments) and a
> common enemy (just named) can meet, and this lack of neutral meeting
> ground is the problem which GSMUA is meant to solve.
> I also have one practical application for GSMUA in mind already: to
> manage and legitimize recycling of wasted IMEI number ranges.  By the
> official rules of GSMA etc each different *type* of GSM mobile
> equipment requires a different TAC, i.e., a range of at least 1 million
> IMEI numbers.  So if a small boutique GSM device manufacturer makes a
> boutique MS device of which no more than 100 units will ever be made,
> 999900 IMEI numbers have to be wasted by the official rules.  While I
> don't know of any manufacturer who got a range of 1 million IMEIs and
> only made 100 devices, we do have examples like Openmoko GTA01/02 and
> Pirelli DP-L10.  In the case of Openmoko GTA02 I've been told that
> about 15 thousand units were made in total; in the case of Pirelli
> DP-L10 it appears that the total number produced was somewhere under
> 100 thousand.  In each case a full range of 1 million IMEIs was
> allocated, and at least 900 thousand numbers out of each range are
> currently unused and wasted.
> If a small boutique manufacturer wishes to offer a boutique GSM MS
> product to the general public and wishes to ship each unit with a
> world-unique IMEI that stands a good chance of being accepted as valid
> by common GSM networks, and the product in question does not qualify
> for IMEI allocation by the official rules (e.g., the product is a
> development board specifically intended for users to run their own
> firmware and connect to live public networks with it, taking full
> personal responsibility for their actions) - the situation I found
> myself in with my GSM MS development board - I feel that the small
> boutique manuf in question should be empowered to squat on a small
> subrange of someone else's IMEI range if it is known beyond reasonable
> doubt to be wasted and unused.
> However, this recycling of wasted IMEI number ranges could be better
> organized and given at least some aura of semi-legitimacy if there
> were a community body set up to manage it, and this is where my
> proposed GSMUA can come in.  Once we get our GSMUA up and running and
> assign a group of volunteers to be IMEI recycling managers, any small
> GSM or 3G+ device manufacturer who needs a small range of IMEI numbers
> will be able to request one from GSMUA, and we will allocate and
> assign these small subranges out of whatever wasted range we decide to
> squat on, ensuring that each requestor gets a different subrange.
> So these are my ideas, and I would like to see them turn into reality.
> We are going to need a simple website and a community mailing list at
>, and for the IMEI recycling service we will need a small
> group of volunteers to serve as its managers - I and Das Signal from
> FreeCalypso will be happy to serve on that panel, but it would be nice
> to also have someone from the Osmocom camp for better neutrality.
> Bright Blessings,
> Mychaela Falconia,
> Mother of FreeCalypso
> _______________________________________________
> Community mailing list
> Community at
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