The SMOS project / 72h civil emergency communications system

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Alexander Chemeris alexander.chemeris at
Thu May 17 07:17:31 UTC 2012

Hi Kalle,

BTS has to transmit constantly on it's main ARFCN, no matter do you
make calls or just send SMS. So while you operate a single ARFCN you
can't save power by employing only SMS. On the other hand, for SMS a
single ARFCN would be enough to provide a good capacity, while support
for calls would require a multi-ARFCN config which would be quite
power hungry.

Have you thought about using a balloon for carrying a BTS instead of
dropping to a ground? This would give you much better coverage easily
then on-the-ground installation.

PS I think this would get more responses from the OpenBTS mailing
list, then from OsmocomBB mailing list, as this is definitely a
network-side question.

On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 10:28 PM, Kalle Pietila <kalle.pietila at> wrote:
> Dear baseband enthusiasts,
> on SMOS project we had this crazy idea for catastrophe communications
> in which cellular base stations would be miniaturized enough to be
> airdropped into disaster zones. We felt that this might
> be possible if all functionality except SMS was stripped from the base
> stations (hence SMOS, SMS Our Souls). Most ideally such technology
> would come in near cellphone size (excluding batteries), something
> like osmocom's earlier "Phone acting as BTS" hackwork.
> We did not have the guts nor skills to start doing this by ourselves,
> so we just published our findings and studies under Creative Commons
> BY license. As we wish to keep this idea open to everyone, our
> web-documentation would benefit on this regard from some more in-depth
> HW-related analysis and suggestions  (our team fell short on this
> area). Once it's all published, it cannot be patented. I personally
> see some humanitarian & karma-improving angle in doing it this way.
> Helping human kinds in disaster should not be bound by patent laws.
> So I'm asking for constructive criticism and also offering possibility
> to write some informal blogs about your views on
> (with our team's editorial support) . At the
> same time it should be noted that such technically oriented blog
> writings at my friends' site would likely reach 50
> readers at most. To put it more nicely, reaching the widest possible
> audience is not our focus here anyways.
> My technical vision is presented at
> .. and the full list of formal documents at end of
> . The other provided background
> material might be even more valuable to those that start considering
> this idea more seriously.
> So, For instance, can stripping  down the functionality just to
> supporting SMS delivery bring down the power consumption in any
> significant manner?
> Thanks and regards,
>  Kalle Pietilä
> P.S. Mailed to this list as suggested by Harald.

Alexander Chemeris.
CEO, Fairwaves LLC / ООО УмРадио

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