Creating a real usable phone using OsmocomBB

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Lokkju Brennr lokkju at
Mon Dec 12 17:27:46 UTC 2011

I'm running a C117 on PCS1900 with no problems, in the USA.  It was an
old Tracfone I fixed the bootloader on and re-flashed.  I have no idea
if PCS1900 type C117 phones are widely available - but I do know they
exist.  Interestingly, I recently saw one in the local Walgreens for
$20, brand new.


On Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 9:12 AM, Michael Sokolov
<msokolov at> wrote:
> Hello folks,
> Just my two cents: one factor that seems to be overlooked in the C1xx
> vs. GTA0x decision is the support for different GSM RF bands.  From my
> reading of the OsmocomBB wiki, it appears that all those C1xx phones
> support only EGSM and DCS1800 bands, but not PCS1900.  It seems like
> most current active developers are located in world regions where EGSM
> and DCS1800 bands are used, but in my area the only usable GSM band is
> PCS1900, or maybe GSM850 too: haven't been able to try the latter as I
> don't have any devices that support it.
> OTOH, my Neo Freerunner (which is currently doing shelf duty as a
> paperweight lacking functional source-enabled Calypso fw) supports the
> PCS1900 band in addition to EGSM and DCS1800.
> But if the community goes the C1xx route and produces GPL code that
> runs fully on the Calypso, no PC needed, does power mgmt and
> implements some UI on the Calypso-controlled LCD and keypad, I expect
> no difficulty with taking that code, replacing the Calypso-based UI
> with some simple protocol for interfacing with the UI over the modem
> UART (maybe not the same as the infamous AT command interface, but
> doing the same job on the same level of abstraction), and running it
> on my GTA02, hence I'm not complaining.
> As far as the power management etc advantages of the simpler phones
> without an application processor: does anyone know of any basic
> Leonardo-style phones which are like the famous C1xx, but support the
> PCS1900 band, are physically available, and documented no worse than
> C1xx in terms of the availability of schematics and docs for display
> and other non-Calypso components?
> The fact that C1xx phones can be bought in 1000 unit quantities is
> great news for those living in areas with EGSM/DCS1800 services, but
> doesn't do much good for those living in PCS1900/GSM850 lands...
> MS

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