Facebook has launched an open-source communications platform called OpenCellular as an attempt to offer internet connectivity to underserved areas of the world.
The platform is comprised of a shoebox-sized device running open-source software that can be deployed in remote areas, creating a local wireless network using a wide range of common network standards such as 2G, LTE, and wi-fi.
While Facebook’s ongoing efforts in developing countries have been widely criticized in 2016, Mark Zuckerberg wrote “OpenCellular is the next step on our journey to provide better, more affordable connectivity to bring the world closer together”
With a user base of over 1.6 billion, they intend to expand even further.
Facebook has even joined the likes of Google to develop and deploy lightweight, solar-powered drones that are intended to fly non-stop for years while providing wireless internet connectivity to remote parts of the world.
Facebook’s plans to bring internet access to the developing world have not always been received with open arms, with many questioning the company’s motives.
Their launch of Free Basics in India was met with resistance and scorn, with opposition who claimed that Facebook was giving itself and its partners an unfair advantage over local Indian internet companies.
Although that service was suspended, it does not appear it has deterred Facebook’s goals of expansion in the long-term.
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