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Linux powers first software-defined cellular base station

Feb 28, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

The first software-defined cellular base station to be certified by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is on display at a communications conference in San Diego this week. The physical layer software of Vanu Inc.'s “Anywave” Base Station runs on Linux and commodity Intel hardware, for low cost and convenient upgrades, according to the company.

Vanu and Intel will both demonstrate the Vanu Anywave Radio Access Network (RAN) at the Mountain View Alliance Comms Ecosystem Conference (MVACEC) 2007 show, Feb. 28 through Mar. 1, in San Diego, California.

Vanu describes its Anywave Base Station as a 1900MHZ multi-standard base station implemented on an Intel ATCA chassis. The Anywave physical layer signal processing software runs on “standard Linux processors” in an ATCA blade, the company says.

Vanu Anywave Base Station architecture

Anywave supports various wireless standards in software, rather than in “costly proprietary hardware,” according to Vanu. This allows the deployment of inexpensive base stations — comprised of commodity hardware and software — that are capable of supporting multiple network protocols. An additional claimed benefit is that wireless operators can support new standards, or add system capacity, via remote software downloads.

John Winn, Vanu's executive VP of marketing, stated, “New wireless standards present both challenges and opportunities. A traditional infrastructure approach means carriers have to duplicate their investment with each new service they add.”


The Vanu Anywave Base Station is operating commercially in North America now, Vanu says, and undergoing field testing in Europe, India, and elsewhere. Pricing was not disclosed.

Linux was used earlier in software-defined RFID radios from ThingMagic.

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