Legal aspects / Free Software GSM baseband code

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Mohammad Hosein mhtajik at
Tue Dec 13 17:15:20 UTC 2011

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 <laforge at> 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 <laforge at>
> ============================================================================
> "Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
>                                                  (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)
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