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GSM and Asterisk Integration?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago

Communications 156

MistabewM asks: "Would it be possible to place a GSM transceiver within you home that can be tied into Asterisk in a way that would allow you to place calls from your GSM phone across your VOIP connection or though your local landline? An analogous system is being introduced on airplanes that will allow passengers to use their GSM phones in flight. I feel this would be a fantastic hack and could even be scaled up to provide large areas of free GSM service."

cancel ×


Apparently, yes. (3, Funny)

g051051 (71145) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356366)

Re:Apparently, yes. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13356406)

He wants it the other way around, and that is not possible. You can't just activate your own GSM micro-cell. It's a licensed band for which you don't have a license.

Re:Apparently, yes. (3, Insightful)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356473)

>It's a licensed band for which you don't have a license.

as long as your at a low enough power, and your not interfearing with anyones communication, you are allowed to. same as those ipod/radio transmitters to your car radio.

I would say as long as their is no GSM availabilty where you want to deploy this, and a limited range, it would be legal. I say this because I have helped install a transmitter, for my company, with AT&T's approvel though, for a test.

Re:Apparently, yes. (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356646)

Your company also had to obtain an FCC license to install and use such a transmitter.

In addition, you need to renew your license. Just because AT&T says you have permission, doesn't mean you can just use that band. The FCC will be knocking on your door; especially in the event you cause problems in said band.

Re:Apparently, yes. (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356911)

I doubt the FCC's gonna bother him, it's not like he's whipping his nipple out on national TV!

Re:Apparently, yes. (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357168)

If the person whipping out a nipple is a "he", it's not going to cause any troubles.

But put up a woman's nipple and you'll cause a backlash.

Sometimes I think my country is strange.

Re:Apparently, yes. (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357376)

You neglected to say whose nipple it was. It wasn't just some young attractive woman, it was Janet Jackson. I think it is certainly in the public interest to protect everyone from aging former pop stars' chrome enhanced mammaries being foisted upon a public resource as scarce as the broadcast-television band of the radio spectrum.

Re:Apparently, yes. (1)

tdonahue (896080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357300)

"I doubt the FCC's gonna bother him" Well, you would think that the FCC would have better things to do than monitor the emergency services frequencies to verify that they are doing things like broadcasting their station id... But oddly enough the town next to mine was find several thousand dollars for forgetting to broadcast the ID. Tim Donahue

Re:Apparently, yes. (1)

DotComMarky (880830) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356998)

So does this or does this not fall under Part 15 of FCC regulations?

Re:Apparently, yes. (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357288)

> So does this or does this not fall under Part 15 of FCC regulations?
(a) Equipment authorization is not
required for devices that are not marketed,
are not constructed from a kit,
and are built in quantities of five or
less for personal use.
(b) It is recognized that the individual
builder of home-built equipment
may not possess the means to perform
the measurements for determining
compliance with the regulations. In
this case, the builder is expected to employ
good engineering practices to
meet the specified technical standards
to the greatest extent practicable.

Re:Apparently, yes, Actually,no (2, Insightful)

flipper65 (794710) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356410)

This is like attaching a cellphone to your asterisk. It allows you to make calls across the GSM network and to receive calls to the number programmed on the SIM card and pass them to the asterisk box.

There have been some attempts to do what the parent is asking about, but I do not know of any that have been rolled out for public consumption.

Re:Apparently, yes, Actually,no (1)

g051051 (71145) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356549)

The article explains how to do what the poster asked for: make a call on the cell phone and route it through asterisk. It looks like the GSM gateway acts as an extension in the Asterisk PBX network, so you should be able to do anything that a locally attached phone is permitted to do (based on configuration). That inclues placing outgoing calls on the land line.

Re:Apparently, yes, Actually,no (2, Informative)

Trestop (571707) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356841)

Not really. The GSM gateway discussed is not a GSM cell - its just another GSM client. You can of course call it and be connected to your local PBX - but you'd do so using some GSM operator's cells, which is hardly what the post asked. You seem to be confusing GSM with peer-to-peer radio. I know peer-to-peer is all the rage now, but please, do get a clue.

Re:Apparently, yes, Actually,no (1)

g051051 (71145) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357022)

He wants to "place calls from your GSM phone across your VOIP connection or though your local landline". You can do that with the gateway as described. Nothing is mentioned about setting up a private cell.

And how am I confusing GSM with peer-to-peer radio? Why did you feel a need to be insulting, rather than provide useful information?

Re:Apparently, yes, Actually,no (0)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356920)

This is like attaching a cellphone to your asterisk.

I attach disclaimers to my asterisks.

Re:Apparently, yes. (3, Insightful)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356411)

Interesting, but thats the opposite of what the post requests. That allows you to use your cellphone minutes from you home phone.
The poster wants to use their landline/sip minutes from their cell phone when at home.

Re:Apparently, yes. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13356483)

You have GSM on your phone? You shouldn't be getting into phone sex that much.

Re:Apparently, not this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13356557)

Umm, that routes calls through a cell phone. He wants a mini cell tower. He wants GSM to IP, not IP to GSM.

Re:Apparently, yes. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13356568)

Slashdot trolling phenomena make up a large subset of the bizarre and complex subculture found on the popular technology website Slashdot. They are a mixture of juvenilia, sarcasm, deliberately bad jokes, tasteless nonsense and highly developed and artistic attempts to provoke outraged responses from other forum users, or amuse them. Slashdot trolling is a subset and a microcosm of Internet trolling in general. Some of these behaviours are usually considered to be more offensive or insightful than others. On Slashdot, many of these phenomena have become the object of parody.

Slashdot trolls can generally be divided into four categories: disruptive, offensive, deceptive, and idiosyncratic. Disruptive trolls are those which intend to disrupt the normal flow of things on Slashdot, either by decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio or by causing the pages to render incorrectly. Offensive trolls exist for the sole purpose of offending as many people as possible. The purpose of deceptive trolls is to trick people into either following a link or reading a comment which seems legitimate but is actually a troll. Idiosyncratic trolls are those which are specific to Slashdot and have elements of Slashdot culture and history in them creating, in effect, an inside joke.
* 1 Disruptive trolls
o 1.1 Crapflooding
o 1.2 Page widening/lengthening
* 2 Offensive trolls
o 2.1 Homosexuality and racism
o 2.2 Anti-semitism
o 2.3 Nationalistic insults
* 3 Deceptive trolls
o 3.1 Karma Whores
o 3.2 Comment Plagiarism
o 3.3 Article text alteration trolls
o 3.4 Web vendor referral trolls
o 3.5 Signature trolls
o 3.6 Movie spoiler
o 3.7 300 Dead in Sri Lanka Tsunami
* 4 Idiosyncratic trolls
o 4.1 First post
o 4.2 Netcraft confirms it
o 4.3 Stephen King is dead
o 4.4 First Obituary
o 4.5 Hot grits/Natalie Portman
o 4.6 Reigniting flamewars
* 5 Minor trolls
* 6 See also

Disruptive trolls

The purpose of disruptive trolls is to cause the pages of Slashdot to display in an undesirable way or to otherwise bring attention to themselves. The two major categories of disruptive trolls are crapflooding and page-widening.


Crapflooding is the posting of many nonsensical or gratuitously offensive messages in order to disrupt the normal functioning of Slashdot and annoy its users and editors.

Later versions of the software behind the Slashdot website had an updated lameness filter to prevent posting of the same message more than once. However, crapflooders began avoiding this restriction by varying the content of the message after each post. Crapfloods can be performed manually with a dedicated user repeatedly clicking through the posting options each time, or automated by a piece of software. Automated crapfloods are -- not surprisingly -- larger, more effective and more frequent. The subject of crapflooded messages varies. Some examples include:

* Offtopic stories
* Pornographic/Homoerotic sex scenes with the names replaced with those of the slashdot editors or open source celebrities.
* Incoherent nonsense that contains the correct letter frequencies so the lameness filter recognises it as vaguely English.
* Offensive Base64 encoded images or text.

The original page widening posts were simple messages consisting of one long stream of characters with no spaces. This caused browsers to render a very wide page with horizontal scroll bars, making it nearly impossible to read the comments page. Slashdot began inserting spaces into any long run of characters to prevent this and so began the evolutionary battle between Slashcode and the page widening trolls. Newer and more inventive ways of causing page widening were discovered, with the use of blockquote tags and the "." character to cause extreme widening on Internet Explorer. These methods were also eventually closed off by the Slashdot editors. Improvements in browser software have also closed many of the loopholes used to widen pages.

Offensive trolls

Trolls in this category are those intended to be offensive, or those which take the reader to potentially offensive sites. A popular technique amongst Slashdot trolls is to post links to "shock sites" in order to annoy and offend other readers by tricking them into following the links. This is often accomplished by posting the link under the guise of being another link to the article or a rebuttal to the article.

A variation on this theme is for a troll to accuse a legitimate link or comment as being a link or reference to a shock site. In some cases this can have the desired effect of a genuinely insightful comment being moderated downward. Another technique is to embed a shock site link in a comment that otherwise appears relevant to the discussion, in the hope that unwitting moderators will mod up the post. The Holy Grail of any link troll is to slip a story submission containing a "shock site" link past the Slashdot editors. This situation occurred in July 2003 and June 2004 when disgruntled webmasters configured their servers to redirect to a shock site when the HTTP referrer was Slashdot.

One particular "shock site" which is overwhelmingly preferred to others is This has spawned a large number of other references such as ASCII art of its signature image (hello.jpg) within a square border, and with a derogatory word written inside the anus of the man in the picture. Troll postings often contain an ASCII art representation of some offensive image, often related to shock sites, with a nonsensical or provocative subject line. The 'Penis bird' troll, a crude ASCII representation of a bird perched on an erect penis, is a common variant, derived from the Penis bird image.

As a result of these trolling techniques, the Slashdot team introduced a feature which appends the domain name a link points to immediately behind that link in every comment to make disguising links more difficult. (e.g. "See Wikipedia article []") When this was implemented, people used mirrors and CGI redirection scripts run by Yahoo!, Slashdot or other servers to circumvent this measure.

Examples of shock sites include:

* - [] ('')
* Penis bird - [] - Original image from
* Tubgirl - [] or []

Homosexuality and racism

Homosexuality is one of the most versatile and popular trolling devices used. In its simplest form it may be used on its own in the form of a homophobic insult or as a feature of a pornographic troll featuring common Slashdot topics and celebrities. (see above "shock site" section) also takes advantage of homophobia. Racism is another ploy, sometimes used for effect in conjunction with homosexuality which usually causes offense to individuals unfamiliar with it. At its crudest it simply takes the form of repeated racial insults. The Gay Nigger Association of America (GNAA) is an internet trolling organization commonly seen in Slashdot threads that uses this type of trolling device.


Anti-semitism, and Nazism in particular, is now considered highly offensive across the modern world, a fact exploited by some Slashdot trolls intent on causing maximum offense to the reader. The most basic anti-semitic trolls usually involve posting pro-Nazi statements such as "Heil Hitler", sometimes accompanied by a crude ASCII-art swastika, and are usually very promptly moderated down as Flamebait.

Less blatant trolls might involve anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, in the spirit of such conspiracy theories rampant during the late 19th and early 20th century.

In a somewhat related vein, trolls often inhabit science or technology stories concerning Israel, dropping into the discussion otherwise completely unrelated posts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Given the nature and sensitivity of this subject, these comments are usually successful in their aim of igniting a flame war.

Nationalistic insults

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A similar subtopic includes banter about the differences between the United States and Canada. Usually an article about some perceived problem in the U.S. will elicit a claim of superiority from someone portraying themselves as Canadian. Often, to fan the flames, the American rebuttal will degenerate into Blame Canada.

The effect of such trolls is compounded by the immaturity and lack of political culture of many participants on both sides, who comment on foreign events they scarcely know about according to clichés seen in the mass media.

Deceptive trolls

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Karma Whores

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Comment Plagiarism

An underappreciated technique that can waste a lot of karma points. The troll will search for a highly moderated post a few pages down from the beginning of the discussion, reword it slightly, and re-post it as a reply to an earlier comment. This troll relies on the readers' ignorance to game the moderation system. These posts usually recieve a lot of positive feedback in the beginning, and draw negative attention once the added visibility exposes the plagiarism. Normal discussions can crop up, from benign responses to the ripped-off comments. These replies create a multiplier to the overall karma waste, as moderators compete to raise and lower the visibility of the comments(insightful replies recieve positive feedback, though responses to trolls are typically moderated downward, to sink an entire tainted thread below the normal visible threshold)

Article text alteration trolls

Considered by many to be an effective satire of those who post comments consisting of a linked article's text (most often in case of the Slashdot effect) for positive moderation (see Karma whores), these are arguably some of the most creative and entertaining found on Slashdot. These trolls consist of the linked article's text, copied into a comment, usually accompanied by a subject line indicating that the site has been slashdotted. One or more words, phrases, or paragraphs are covertly inserted or modified to form a subversive or offensive message not present in the original article. These can be in the form of film or book spoilers, or words changed to produce sexual innuendoes, amongst other things. Often moderators will 'mod-up' the comment based solely on its title and the overall appearance of the text, assuming that the comment is helpfully providing the verbatim text of the unavailable site. Comments that have been repeatedly modded-up become more visible and carry an air of validity. Troll comments that fool more moderators therefore trick more readers.

When other users spot the troll, many of them respond with comments warning other users of the deception and asking moderators to decrease the troll's visibility. The most concise posts are empty with the emphatic subject line: "TROLL - MOD PARENT DOWN". Other users go further by pointing out each instance where the troll post differs from the original article. This phenomenon has trolls of its own, wherein a response will describe extra changes that are not present in the original troll post. This "troll-on-troll" phenomenon further increases confusion. Still more confusion is introduced when trolls respond to "Mod Parent Down" comments with rebuttals claiming that the original troll was a legitimate copy of the article, and that it is instead the accusers who are the trolls. Depending on the subtlety and believability of the changes, readers may remain confused until the site with the original article becomes available again. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the Slashdot effect, the original article may not become available again until most readers have lost interest and moved on.

"Mod Parent Down" posts are sometimes seen as comments on legitimate posts, presumably as an attempt to disrupt the thread. Examples of this type of troll: An example of the kind of post that ATTs are satirizing, "gradual as michael easing himself into taco's backside", "Orbital brothels, Delta Clitter", "an operator took my contact info and said I would get a fat cock up the ass soon"

Web vendor referral trolls

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and some other WWW vendors have a system whereby a user can post links on their (or others) websites, and gain a small commission per person following the link. These trolls post what appear to be discussion, with links to source material, but are really elaborate advertisements. For example: this post.

Signature trolls

Signature trolls are an advanced and effective method of trolling, commonly used in reviews of software. The troll posts an insightful comment, which is moderated up based on its merit. The troll then changes his post signature to include an extra link, usually to a shock site. Comments on Slashdot cannot be edited after posting, but the user's signature text is updated within the comment whenever the user changes it. When the troll changes his signature, the malicious link becomes part of the highly-moderated comment. With careful wording, the signature can seamlessly blend in with the post and trick many readers. Slashdot has an option to put a signature separator consisting of --, but this was not the default until late 2004.

The dynamic signature can cause even more confusion, when the troll changes his signature back to make his accusers appear false. As the accusatory comments receive negative moderation for appearing false, the accusers lose points from their karma score, resulting in another victory for the troll. An example of a signature troll is: this.

Movie spoiler

This is a more subtle troll than most. It consists, for the most part, of a genuinely insightful comment split into several paragraphs, with the middle or penultimate paragraph containing one or more movie spoilers.

300 Dead in Sri Lanka Tsunami

Another red herring similar to the Stephen King is dead troll, this often consists of an announcement that a tsunami has killed over 300 people in Sri Lanka, with a link to an old or unrelated news item. In some cases, the troll chides the community for caring about trivial tech issues over the welfare of tsunami victims in other parts of the world. A successful Sri Lanka tsunami troll will either drive participants to news sites searching for more information, or attract responses from members eager to show witty nonchalance, usually via Nationalistic insults. Example troll on Slashdot.

Idiosyncratic trolls

Trolls that don't fall into the other three categories are idiosyncratic, and their existence is a result of an inside joke related to the workings of Slashdot culture or history or of geek culture itself.

First post

Whenever a new story is posted on Slashdot, comments may be added discussing it and there is often competition between Slashdotters to be the first to post such a comment. Some first posters try to make a short insightful comment to avoid being moderated down. The more immature first posts often consist of a subject saying "first post!" or merely "FP" and have no body. Trolls may also post "first post" messages a ridiculously long time after the original story has been submitted as a parody of the first post. There are many other variants of the first post, usually misspellings to avoid the lameness filter: "Frist psot!". Some troll organizations require prospective members to post a 'First Post' on Slashdot using some pre-specified text, which may explain the persistence of the 'First Post' troll.

Due to the many typos and misspellings made by those attempting to gain such a 'first post', the language has been somewhat transformed. Many 'first post' attempts now say such things as "Frosty Piss", coming from the phrase "frist pist", a common typo when trying to spell out "First Post" in time to actually get one, or in attempt to avoid the lameness filter.

Netcraft confirms it

Quite frequently (especially for BSD-related stories) a comment will be posted providing dubious statistics from Netcraft (a network services vendor and internet research firm) and many links detailing the forthcoming death of the BSD operating systems. With its bogus statistics and inflammatory language the original "*BSD is dying" troll was enormously successful, and was still guaranteed to generate responses years after it first appeared. The troll typically starts with the phrase, "Netcraft confirms is dying", modelled after similar but authentic confirmations revealed by Netcraft in their research. Not surprisingly, many variants of this troll were created: Slashdot/VA Linux/Linux/BeOS/Apple (see examples below) is dying, variants on the original link-laden *BSD troll, and even elaborate poetry and song. None were as successful as the original.

Stephen King is dead

Used simply as an off-topic troll or even a red herring, the American writer, Stephen King, has his very own subculture repeating the myth of his death:

The canonical text of the troll is as follows:

Subject: Netcraft Confirms it ... Stephen King, dead at 54

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

This joke has also been used to recognize actual celebrity deaths. The format has also been used outside of Slashdot, usually on other message boards, to announce or memorialize actual deaths.

First Obituary

A variation of the "First Post" and "Stephen King" troll. When a famous celebrity or politician's death reaches the headlines there is often an attempt to make that headline part of the first post.

Hot grits/Natalie Portman

Early in Slashdot's history, an anonymous troll (aka the "hot grits guy") would post a reply to every story with a simple "I have poured hot grits down my pants. Thank you." While he mostly got modded down as a troll, the hot grits guy is really the first recurring troll on Slashdot.

Natalie Portman is a popular target for this troll. When referring to her, they frequently profess their endless love for a "naked and petrified" statue of the actress, preferably covered in hot grits. Other incarnations suggest that Natalie Portman pour hot grits into the trolls' underwear, and vice versa.

Reigniting flamewars

Popular on software and development articles, this troll tries to explain why a particular operating system, programming language or other concept is inferior to others, in a way intended to annoy, intending to start a flamewar. This type of troll will either make an outlandish and obvious claim or subtly use a valid criticism of something in an irritating fashion.

For example:

* "DRM is the future"
* "The K in KDE stands for Krap."
* "Why would I want a desktop with a smelly foot on it?"
* "Linux has below average SMP support."
* "My BSD machines have much better uptimes and stability than my Linux machines."
* "Apple Computer will never sell a computer that uses multi-button mice"
* "Object-oriented programming is difficult to use and doesn't increase productivity."
* "Open source software has poorer levels of QA than proprietary solutions."
* "PHP is a toy language for kids."
* "Python scales up for large projects better than Perl."
* "IPv6 adds too much new overhead to be viable."
* "Perl 6 is a mistake."

These types of post, usually moderated down as flamebait (but often moderated up as Insightful), sometimes cause a flamewar to begin amongst those who reply and thus the troll gets his 'bite' (See You Have Been Trolled et al.).

Minor trolls

The following are either set phrases or formulae for the construction of semicliché phrases posted with the intent of either annoying or amusing other readers. More and more commonly, it is a combination of the two.

* The Get Some PRIORITIES! troll began to appear after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. A classic offtopic troll, it employs highly hyperbolic language to criticize the other posters and Slashdot in general for discussing trivialities like new gadgets or changes in U.S. copyright law in the wake of such a horrific event.
* The Think about your breathing troll causes the user to think about their breathing, and it claims to be the most effective troll ever.
* The Think about your parents having hot sweaty sex next time you masturbate troll intends to implant offensive images in the mind of the reader the next time he or she masturbates.
* The Is it good or is it whack? troll: This troll responds to a comment by asking of the comment's subject, "What's [subject] all about? Is it good or is it whack?". In general, this troll aims to suggest wide-eyed naïveté about a well-understood subject. This phrase comes from the popular comic character in the UK and the US, Ali G.
* The I Fail It! / I succeed it! trolls originally came from the computer game Blazing Star in which the game over message read: "You fail it! Your skill is not enough, see you next time, bye-bye".
* The My freelance gig in front of a Mac trolls appear in virtually every discussion about Apple Computer. The troll claims to have witnessed taking 20 minutes to copy a 17 MB file from one folder to another and proceeds to question all Apple users as to their platform choice. It is a straight forward copy-and-paste from a weblog entry by Jason Kottke. It has also led to some very inspired and amusing parodies.
* The I find your ideas intriguing / interesting and wish to subscribe to your newsletter / journal troll is a common sycophantic reply to a post that may or may not have merit. (See this post for an example.) (This is a quote from an episode of The Simpsons.)
* The Stalkers are trolls who fixate on a user and reply to all their posts anonymously usually repeating some sort of an insult.
* Subject line trolls primarily consist of an inflammatory subject line and nothing else, but some have been seen where the comment is valid, but the subject consists simply of GOATSE repeated to the maximum length.
* Chinese Torture of Tibetan Nuns appears occasionally as a reply to a topic with a fairly inane segue to wrench the topic over to the torture of Tibetan nuns by Chinese soldiers. The posting always includes a link to Physicians for Human Rights and their papers on torture of the Tibetan people. The lurid image of a Tibetan nun being raped with a cattle prod is sometimes invoked.
* We Tried Working With... is a cut and paste troll made infamous by The troll starts out by telling a story of an employer who evaluates based on an employee recommendation. The troll then goes into how great is, but then goes into how the new thing destroyed their company project - which leads to the dismissal of the employee who suggested the evaluation.

Re:Apparently, yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357166)

WOW - thanx for publishing this URL - I found it quite interesting.

I'm implementing a SIP Phone that runs native on the Mac. Not one of these cheezy inefficient ports like X-Lite. which I find very inefficient after I ran it through "Shark", the Mac X-Code performance monitoring tool.

GSM Codecs like the Jutta Codec published on the net more then 12 years ago, is still a viable GSM Codec to use. But if you expect to be compatible with winBlows version of GSM, you are heading for a very frustrating experience. Of course winBlows did the best they can to be un-compatible with the standard GSM Codec which uses 65 byte frame sizes (an uneven number of bytes).

After extensive reverse engineering the WinBlows GSM, I discovered the bit order of processing the LPE (linear predictive encoding) - is reversed. This is NOT the Big and Little endian issue, but something different.

but I think people should know this, especially if they intend to implement a GSM on their own using Jutta's code.

Re:Apparently, yes. (1)

g051051 (71145) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357302)

I finally got a first post and didn't realize it...

Free? (4, Insightful)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356368)

Sounds like an interesting hack indeed, but I'm not sure how it will result in a free service. Someone needs to administer the Asterisk server, pay for electricity, the bandwidth to the server and lastly don't you need a license to use GSM frequencies? If you'd be willing to cover all these costs, then sure, it will be free. :-)

Re:Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13356553)

There is a definition of free, commonly accepted and mostly unambiguous (except to economist weenies) where, if there is a person willing to do that without charging a fee for it, and the cost is low enough they can ignore it or otherwise have it not be a problem, well... then it is free.

If that someone is me, I'm already paying for the electricity to the server, if someone else can get some use out of it without abusing it, or interfering with my use, let them. Much of my bandwidth goes unused as well. As for a license, no clue, but you might be right on that one.

Re:Free? (3, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356665)

Your post also described the price of air. Yes, breathing air is free, but as long as you're willing to expend the energy required to flex various muscles resulting in the lungs expanding and inhaling air. And you'll also need to drink water and ingest food -- which you'll need to purchase or grow. If you grow your own, you'll probably need to either purchase or fashion the tools required to till the soil and plant the seeds. So yes, air is free if you're willing to cover all those costs.

Re:Free? (3, Funny)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356704)

Someone needs to administer the Asterisk server, pay for electricity, the bandwidth to the server and lastly don't you need a license to use GSM frequencies? If you'd be willing to cover all these costs, then sure, it will be free.

Sounds like a risky proposition... but it's his own asterisk.

Re:Free? (1)

Chuqmystr (126045) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357339)

Indeed. And even once you clear those obsticles you still must contend with [insert giant greedy GSM provider's name(s) here] setting a pack of flesh eating lawyers upon you. Seems to me this is better done currently with wifi and some of the wifi VOIP handsets coming down the pike (if not out already). And, there's still more unlicensed spectrum out there to play with so time will tell if someone will come up with a better free/low-cost alternative to current wireless telephony products.

there's one in every story (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13356373)

A n analogous system is being introduced on airplanes

should be

An analogous system is being introduced on airplanes

Re:there's one in every story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13356391)

Sometimes Slashcode throws in random spaces, though.
Check out how it prints the URL in this post: 1&cid=13291455 []

So it may not be the fault of the poster or the editor.

Re:there's one in every story (1)

reiggin (646111) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356418)

It only does that to URLs. And it's intentional. If you want to link something in a comment, you need to use the proper HTML formatting, otherwise, that's what they do it. The before-mentioned typo is an honest typo and not a Slashcode issue.

Re:there's one in every story (-1, Flamebait)

crimsonclear (905392) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356575)

go get a life...

Uh, 2 seconds with Google... (4, Informative)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356394)

, the search term 'GSM Picocell' turns up these guys [] who appear to sell a GSM-to-IP product exactly like that.

Re:Uh, 2 seconds with Google... (3, Insightful)

uradu (10768) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356675)

Of course, one would need to know the term "picocell" in connection with GSM to search efficiently, otherwise you could be spending some time searching.

Re:Uh, 2 seconds with Google... (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356731)

Since it'll take me more than 2 seconds to calculate the optimal search term for googling the price, how much is their GSM base station?

Re:Uh, 2 seconds with Google... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357549)

Wow, simply searching for the obscure term "GSM Picocell" which happens to be the answer to the question immediately finds the answer to the question!! If only the OP had spent 2 seconds with google, and started out with the answer to his question.

Already covered (4, Interesting)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356396)

See here []

Yeah, sure. It's possible to do this (4, Informative)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356397)

But you're looking at some serious changes to your wireless hub. If you are asking, I doubt you'd be able to do it.

That's not meant as a slight, but just the truth. It's a very difficult thing to set this up. It requires more than just running some daemon. It also requires authenticated sessions on the servers. If you aren't Ericsson, you aren't getting into the network.

That isn't to say that you couldn't implement this yourself. Skype, for example, doesn't run across the traditional long distance network, but it provides long distance phone service over the Internet. If you are willing to dive headlong into a long and arduous development plan, sure, you could implement this.

Don't hold it against me that I'm not holding my breath for this, though.

RF interference (2, Insightful)

ALecs (118703) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356404)

Hopefully this gateway can use a frequency that doesn't have harmonic interference with radio astronomy to communicate with the ground (or even better, the sky - via satellite).

And also hopefully, the handsets will use low enough power that it doesn't result in the equivalent of a 35000-foot cell tower. []

Re:RF interference (1)

Catskul (323619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356558)

Maybe not though... maybe this would be a great idea for cell phone companies...

If it works technologically (i.e. no doppler problems) having 35,000 ft cell towers which dont have to ugly the landscape would be great...

Whey didnt they think of this earlier?

Re:RF interference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13356811)

Wow, I must have misunderstood the question. I didn't realize that he was talking about putting this shit on an airplane!

Oh wait...maybe you didn't get it.

Free service like how? (2, Insightful)

Brento (26177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356408)

...could even be scaled up to provide large areas of free GSM service.

How exactly do you get large numbers of GSM transceivers for free? This sounds suspiciously like a dot-bomb business model. I mean, I'm willing to buy a wifi router and give away my internet connection because any tool with a wifi card can figure out how it works and take advantage of it. But buy a GSM transceiver, host an Asterisk server, and manage it all for strangers who walk past my house? What a tech support pain in the ass.

Re:Free service like how? (1)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356713)

But buy a GSM transceiver, host an Asterisk server, and manage it all for strangers who walk past my house? What a tech support pain in the ass.

Sure, but what if you run a company and want to un-wire your campus? Forget desk IP phones, just have a few picocells strewn about and have people use their own phones (or buy $20 GSM phones from some random reseller).

Re:Free service like how? (1)

Brento (26177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357354)

Sure, but what if you run a company and want to un-wire your campus?

Commercial use of GSM frequencies requires a license from the FCC. It isn't an open frequency like 802.11b operates on.

A rephrase (3, Funny)

DraconPern (521756) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356421)

Let me rephrase the poster... ;-) Hello Slashdot, I want to start a mobile phone company with no money down. I am very poor but I want to provide GSM, voice mail, fax, voip, free calls, etc. Can you people help me?

Re:A rephrase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357103)

Can you hear me now?

Licensing (2, Informative)

amembleton (411990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356428)

To legally set up a GSM transceiver you would need to purchase a licence. Well, I'm sure thats the case in most countries anyway.

I know that the mobile phone companies in the UK spent a hell of a lot of cash to secure 3G licences, they wouldn't be too happy if you got to set up your own transceiver for free.

Yes, I know a handset is a transceiver, but that probably comes under some kind of different licence.

Re:Licensing (1)

squirrelist (412181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356595)

By my understanding you are allowed to use a transceiver (your handset) because you pay money every month to the spectrum owner (your cell phone provider). So basically the provider is leasing the spectrum to you, but it still belongs to them. Or do they lesae it from the FCC and then sublease it to you?

Re:Licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357131)

They lease it from the public, on whose behalf the FCC ostensibly manages the frequency spectrum.

Re:Licensing (1)

nepheles (642829) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356639)

That's not true, as of recently, in the UK. There's a small overlap between some of the unlicensed spectrum and that used by GSM phones (it was originally intended to protect 3G and GSM phones from interfering).

Seen one before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13356430)

I have seen such a device at Cisco Networkers in Orlando back in 2000. There was a "GSM transceiver" that was tied into the Cisco VOIP system. The "GSM transceiver" was not a Cisco device and I can't remember the manufacturer name, but it did work. I can't see why you would not be able to make it work with Asterix.

Re:Seen one before (-1, Redundant)

mogrify (828588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356479)

Actually, Asterix would be unable to communicate with a GSM tranceiver in any way. This is because Asterix is a fictional character in a series of graphic novels set in the first century B.C.


Re:Seen one before (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356484)

I can just imagine what Cisco pays for hardware, considering their prices...

looks like ... (1)

BigCorona (878396) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356442)

Just a quick search comes up with a few companies like that makes custom gms and cdma equip that you could put togather with a system like that, I dont know about the free part though, seems like someone would have to be footing the bill.

Short and long answer. (5, Interesting)

wfberg (24378) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356447)

Short answer: No.

Long answer: The main restriction here is the use of restricted frequencies, and some "minor" technical hurdles.

while it's perfectly OK for you, as a lone individual, or a company, to operate a GSM handset, operating a base-station is another thing. First, you'd have to get your greedy paws on a basestation, then you'd have to make your own SIM cards (hijacking calls that should be on the regular operator's network is highly illegal (DMCA); there's all sorts of (broken) encryption going on), and you'd have to outfit phones with 2 SIM cards, switching from your own network to the other (which entails switching the phone off and on again) every time you enter or leave the building. (This is doable, but annoying).

Now, assuming you don't want the legal hassles of paying for multi-million dollar cell network licenses, you could operate a "pirate" basestation on some frequencies that aren't used too much where you're at (you'd have to measure it through first).

In other words; you're better off investing in a handset that does both GSM and DECT(or whatever you use for domestic wireless phones in the US) or even both GSM and WiFi. There aren't many of those (though BritishTelecom has announced their model), but there should be some out there.

Sweet Deal (1)

gkozlyk (247448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356450)

If you were close to a "free" or open picostation like the one has, would it then be free minutes then, or would the cellular company still ding you for using the frequency since the phone is registered to them?

What are the costs on a system like this?

Yes, but it costs a *lot*. (4, Informative)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356458)

Ok, the equipment:

One microcell, coming right up.

Ok, simple omnidirectional antenna.
Then you need the base station that drives that antenna.
Then you need the base station controller that drives the base station.
Then you need MSC (mobile switching center...) that actually gets the calls from the base station and forwards it accordingly to an SS7 network.
Then you need to set up Asterisk to talk to that SS7 network and grab your phone calls.
And all the rest of the components that I have forgotten.. In effect, you need to become a full-blown telco, albeit with only one base station.

All the equipment can be bought from Nokia, Ericcson or other mobile network vendors. Price range is not for home users.

Then, you need to get a license to operate that basestation. 900/1800/1900MHz is a licensed band. This *might* be quite easy if the location is just a single cell.

Anyway, then you need to apply for Mobile Network Identifiers (MCC + the rest) to distinguish yourself as a GSM operator, so when you search for networks with your GSM phone, you'll see your own network as one.

Then you need to get a SIM Card to use with your phone that has access to your network. (Or, you may be able to set it to "open for all" mode).

(Of course, if the question was simply if you can reaac GSM network via Voip and want to set up the gateway your own home, then that's easy, just plug a phone or wireless modem to your Linux box....but I was under the impression that this meant the ability to use your GSM phone as a "cordless phone".)

With landline this is of course easy, all you need is a modem waiting for calls..

Re:Yes, but it costs a *lot*. (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356629)

900 is unlicensed, isn't it?

850 is licensed, but as long as you have a quad-band phone.....

Re:Yes, but it costs a *lot*. (1)

wfberg (24378) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356725)

900 is unlicensed in the US for certain uses, which do not include GSM. Unlicensed only means that the end-user doesn't need to get an FCC license (and learn morse-code!), but the equipment and use still has to comply with FCC rules. Check here [] .

Re:Yes, but it costs a *lot*. (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356861)

I don't understand how it can be unlicensed for certain uses and not other uses.

Do you mean it is not unlicensed for GSM because of power requirements?

Or does GSM occupy more frequency space than is unlicensed in the 900 Mhz band?

As long as you comply with all FCC rules, you should be able to do GSM in the 900 Mhz band.

Not that it would necessairly be useful once you did, but still, one could do it, perhaps in your own home or something. I don't know much about any of this, however, so you're probably right.

Re:Yes, but it costs a *lot*. (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356984)

You don't need a license to operate on the band. Your equipment, however, must be certified to comply with the FCC section 15 rules.

Google for "Tragedy of the Commons" if everyone were able to cook up wacky RF-based services, nobody would be able to use the spectrum at all -- its bad enough as it is.

50 years ago, you could hear a 10,000 watt AM station for 1000 miles. Today, you're lucky to get 150.

Re:Yes, but it costs a *lot*. (1)

DotComMarky (880830) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357115)

Not all of the 900Mhz band is "unlicensed", however, certain frequencies such as the ones baby monitors, cordless phones, etc use are unlicensed, _howver_ are also secondary usage--or whatever it's called. there is a difference between primary service or user and secondary. I don't know all of the details, but I thought I'd throw that in there.

Re:Yes, but it costs a *lot*. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357232)

"900" isn't just one frequency. The range 902 to 928 MHz is in fact unlicensed, used mainly for cordless phones and some intra-home video links. The GSM band referred to as "900" is actually something like 930 to 985 MHz; i.e., it doesn't overlie the unlicensed band, and even if you had a real GSM base station in the unlicensed band your GSM cellphone would ignore it.

Re:Yes, but it costs a *lot*. (1)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356769)

You forgot about the HLR :)

Re:Yes, but it costs a *lot*. (1)

ckulpa (611178) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356881)

You also forgot the 24V DC power plant

Actually, it won't cost so much. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357372)

GSM picocells will become available for home use. The problem, initially, is likely to be that although they'll talk IP over your broadband Internet connection they will be tied to a particular telco (who might even subsidise the hardware, I suppose). And unless the hardware is cryptographically authenticated, I don't expect it would be long before someone came up with an open source basestation controller, at which point what the OP wants would be possible. Spectrum licensing will be taken care of by the picocell vendor. The SIM card is a non-issue.

GSM gateways (1)

papaia (652949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356501)

May not be exactly what you're looking for, but I am investigating GSM solutions right now, for a slightly different reason: I want to make all my GSM-to-land calls appear "in the network", and eliminate the huge costs associated with cell-to-land calls. Here are a couple of links: htm [] GSM.htm [] tech=GSM [] gsm/eurotech1/ []
(sorry - I did not have the time to "a href" beautify the above)

How about POTS? (2, Interesting)

wintahmoot (17043) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356538)

Is there an EASY way to route from POTS to VoIP and back? I'd like to be able to call my home phone number from my cell, and then punch in a number which will be dialed via VoIP.

The same goes for the other way around, when somebody calls my VoIP number, I'd like it to forward the call using my home phone line to my cellphone.

I know that this is possible, but what's the easiest way to achieve it?

Re:How about POTS? (1)

papaia (652949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356580)

Somehow related to what you are asking for: I have a cell phone, with $10/month unlimited data plan, on which I have installed Skype. I have reasons to believe that any other VoIP soft-phone solution could be installed, if an appropriate client for the platform existed, thus the "hope" into VoIP that you are asking for.

My provider could probably never figure out (if he would ever care) how I could keep a consulting business on a minimal dial plan ;)

Cheap Calling (4, Interesting)

xtrvd (762313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356628)

I have an 'unlimited incoming local calls' feature on my phone, combined with 100 minutes (practically nothing) of outbound calling per month. I pick up my mobile, dial a number, punch in an extension, and then hang up. This process takes about 5-6 seconds.
After I hang up, my home phone number calls my mobile phone and gives me an IVR (Voice Menu) where I can dial out using VOIP long-distance.

The call is free, because it looks like an incoming call from my home, but I'm using my home line to make the VOIP call outbound from my cell phone.

This is my trick; the only inconvenience is that you have to dial a number BEFORE you make outbound calls, but I can live with it. =)


Re:Cheap Calling (1)

Pandora's Vox (231969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357027)

this is pure genius. i am going to go out and by a cellphoen this weekend to do this with.

Re:How about POTS? (1)

TheCow (191714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356812)

Simple, purchase a Sipura 3000. You can register it with Free World Dialup, voicepulse, NuFone, or Asterisk (or anything else that speaks standard SIP). It allows you to dialin from the PSTN and then via a password or not get access to a VOIP network. Very configurable...

Hope this helps.

Re:How about POTS? (1)

wintahmoot (17043) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356829)

That's exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks!

Re:How about POTS? (1)

kfuq (513110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356833)

make a GOTOIF statement that reads the callerid of your cell and sends you to another context/menu

something like this..

exten => s,1,Zapateller(answer|nocallerid)
exten => s,2,Wait(2)
exten => s,3,Answer
exten => s,4,PrivacyManager
exten => s,5,lookupCIDName
exten => s,6,lookupBlacklist
exten => s,7,GotoIF($[${CALLERIDNUM} = xxxxxxxxxx]?some:other:context,s,1:8)

Is this what you want? (2, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356546) uctid=16136 []

Basically, get two phones and a plan with free mobile-to-mobile minutes. Leave one at home in the base station and connect it to Asterisk with a DTA.

Call home with your mobile, then call again from there to where ever via VoIP. Basically a cell-to-VoIP gateway.

There is a FAQ somewhere around that explains exactly how to do this.


GSM a bit outdated? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356550)

I ould not recommend GSM anymore beause, come on, it's a little bit outdated, no? ;)

I know that some companies want to use wifi as nexgeneration cell phone network. So i would simply look for a wifi-compatible smartphone and a sip-client for it. the rest should be no problem and you would even be able to use oter wifi access points (using encryption of course)

I guess this will also be my plan for the future, even if i can't put off my tinf^H^H^H^Hnanotube beret because of the poor "all over the place" radiation. ;)

When UMA becomes standard, maybe (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356642)

Yes and No.

No, in most juristictions, it's illegal to operate your own base station on any of the frequencies supported by GSM (850, 900, 1800, and 1900MHz, I think 450MHz is coming on stream in various places too. But that's also a problem.)

However, there's a new system called UMA that tunnels the GSM protocols through an IP connection provided by either an 802.11 base station or some form of bluetooth receiver. The system has some limitations in its present form, the major ones being:

  1. Few carriers support it. In the US, practically none do.
  2. Few phones are available that support it. In theory, most bluetooth supporting phones could be made to support it with a firmware update. But that's not likely to happen. I know the UK version of Motorola's RAZR V3 now supports the feature, but it's in a small class of phones and the US version doesn't yet.
  3. Each "base station" has to be registered by the GSM operator, I have NO IDEA why. That means plain old open WAPs in malls wouldn't provide a solution to poor coverage inside them, for instance, and you (probably) couldn't use the system to defeat roaming charges by using a Starbucks WiFi connection in the UK with your Cingular phone.
It also isn't exactly what you've asked for. It's largely seen as a system to help phone users improve their reception and reduce their dependence on the capacity of the wide range GSM network. It's designed to be seamless, you can start a call on the 802.11 network, step "out of range", and the call will transfer to a nearby GSM tower just as it would if you were going out of range of any other GSM tower.

By comparison, it looks like you're just after a way to turn a GSM phone into a cordless handset.

I've covered the system in my journal [] . It'd be nice to see it better supported, and to see other standards also adopt it such as the CDMA ones. Much of the issues of capacity and poor reception would be dealt with if the system became a standard part of most people's mobile phones.

Re:When UMA becomes standard, maybe (1)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356796)

Cingular/Bellsouth will start an UMA trial later this year for people with Cingular phone service and Bellsouth DSL, and they'll be able to do UMA in their homes.

Relevant Suggestion (2, Informative)

dingletec (590572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356644)

There is a device called cellsocket that my company uses to connect regular analog telephones up to cellphones. You pick up the phone, hear a dial tone, then dial as you normally would, but it uses your cellphone for the connection. You could possibly connect something like this to your house POTS wiring and use your regular phones in the house while your cellphone sits and charges.

As far as making VOIP calls, there is the Sipura-3000 which mentions something similar to what you are asking. The manual is located at: []
You could purchase or set up an Asterisk server for this purpose, integrating a POTS line, Cell line,and various SIP services, etc. That will run into quite a bit of an expense and configuration though. A Digium card Wildcard TDM400P [] with a combination of FXO and FXS modules would probably be what you need.

It's a lot of effort though, and possibly a lot of expense. I would try out the Sipura-3000 and a CellSocket type adapter first. I have 3 Sipura devices so far, and they work nicely, and are fairly easy to set up.

Re:Relevant Suggestion (1)

dingletec (590572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356719)

Sorry about the link on my previous post: []

I also misread your question, I assumed you were asking for something you would use personally.

I was wrong, obviously.

DIY Cell (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356652)

Would it be possible to place a GSM transceiver within you home

This sounds like nothing more than a DIY micro-cell, for people who feel the cell towers provided by the phone company aren't already good enough.

This is old.... (1)

The_Candyman (463167) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356662)

When I worked for L3 (Level 3) almost 5 years ago, we had implimented a similial solution that would let your GSM cell phone turn into a local extension on the PBX. Thus allowing to make various calls such as VoIP, internal (calling another extension) and outgoing calls. Granted I never was around the equiptment, so I couldn't tell you what it was, but just the fact that it was available many moons ago.

Re:This is old.... NOKIA (2, Informative)

maxrate (886773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357218)

I remember NOKIA had a solution in '99 for this. We didn't go for it because our office only had 15 people, but it was neat-o.

You walk into the building and your mobile would switch to pbx mode - local extension at your desk mobile style. Low output power too - no brain tumours.

nerds (1)

ZipprHead (106133) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356708)

This article nerdy... ...even by Slashdot standards.

Seriously now (1)

milktoastman (572643) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356750)

"Would it be possible to place a GSM transceiver within you home that can be tied into Asterisk in a way that would allow you to place calls from your GSM phone across your VOIP connection or though your local landline? "

Now seriously...listen to do you look yourself in the mirror each morning?

Re:Seriously now (1)

Sjobeck (518934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357215)

I do not know if filktoastman is joking or not.

I will say, though, that this is a fantastic idea for say a construction site type application, or perhaps, if cost effective, (ie: that's the big question here) the home.

And, yes, it is do-able, and being done, right now.

Just google on the relevant terms.

WhyGSM? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13356827)

Why waste all that money on a GSM base station, when a WiFi/3G phone [] is so much cheaper? And has 10-1000x the bandwidth, with existing protocols, interop'ing with public/friends' hotspots? The Asterisk integration still makes perfect sense, especially when virtualizing one's telecom out of a home server.

Carriers don't like dual mode (1)

Mobile Unit of the G (862058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357016)

I live in a twisty little valley, so my Verizon phone works everywhere I go but home. It wouldn't be worth it for Verizon to put a tower in to serve my valley, because only a handful of people live there.

          European phone carriers have researched the possibility of a dual mode phone that switch from GSM to DECT (digital cordless) depending on what's available, but they never commercialized it. I think they don't want to lose control of their network.

For people like me, the best answer would be a micro-cell that covers just a few hundred feet around my house. However, business and politics get in the way -- even if Verizon wanted to do it, I have a different carrier for my landline phone.

Simple Solution - Big Payoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357044)

Pretty easy, you take this: []

And add your local equivalent "in network calling/call buddy/unlimited calling partner" plan for the mobile in the field and the SIM card in the gateway device. Your Mobile is now an office line, all unlimited calling to the PBX where the incoming/outgoing calls are handled..

Rethink the problem and use bluetooth. (1)

imagi (27636) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357112)

If it is just being able to make outgoing calls with your cellphone, then why not make them using the bluetooth audio channel that your phone probably supports. Have a look at the software on: []
This allows you to pair your cellphone with your asterisk phone and make outgoing calls via bluetooth.

Easy to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357204)

Pretty easy, you take this: [] And add your local equivalent "in network calling/call buddy/unlimited calling partner" plan for the mobile in the field and the SIM card in the gateway device. Your Mobile is now an office line, all unlimited incoming calling to the PBX where the incoming/outgoing calls are handled.. or dialing to the pbx and then out...

Eureka (1)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357212)

I have just integrated an asterix into "GSM":


WiFi in, GSM out (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357307)

GSM might be still one of the most common mobile phone standards but it is the fastest declining one, making way to the fastest growing one ever which is WiFi in the flavors of 802.11b/g and very soon WiMax(802.16). Low-cost WiFi phones are already on the market.

Re:WiFi in, GSM out (1)

doubledoh (864468) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357684)

Exactly. I think the next truly "killer app" will be global wimax/voip networks. I expect all mobile telecommunications to run over wimax/voip 5 years from now. Think unlimited calls for about 20 bucks a month to anywhere from anywhere.

Ode to illiteracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357384)

"within YOU HOME"?

Oh boy.

PicoCell and NanoCell - No SIP - You Want 2n (2, Informative)

killercoder (874746) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357411)

The problem with PicoCell and Nanocell is twofold - cost and SIP Compatibility. What you want is something like this device from 2N.
Voice Blue Lite []

This device is supposed to cost about 3500$ USD (only reference I could find online), and creates a mini-gsm cell backed by a SIP provider. This device has been tested with Asterisk.

fuck a t80ll (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13357428)

God, let's fucking believe their *BSD but FreeBSD comce Here but now Bottoms butt. Wipe alike to reap

Picocell (1)

ewieling (90662) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357435)

It's called a Picocell and they are EXPENSIVE. They also require a landline to the carrier and that's EXTPENSIVE too.

Look for integration with DECT or Bluetooth (1)

stefanb (21140) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357464)

As many others have pointed out, running your own GSM network is pretty much out of the question, since you wanted to save some money, not brun through a couple million.

Unsurprisingly, some vendors have already trialled products that allow a GSM handset to be used as a local wireless phone, too. I remember Sagem having one that would double as a DECT handset if in range of the DECT base station, but continue to be booked into the GSM network. More recently, people have put SIP and Skype software on smart phones that communicate with a host PC via Bluetooth or 802.11b/g. I'm too lazy right now to google them.

As usual, the network operators are not thrilled by technology that drives revenue away from them, so don't expect such things to be easily available from or be possible on handsets from those operators.

Use some imagination, all you naysayers. (3, Interesting)

hklingon (109185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357498)

This is a general reply to all the +5 comments that are saying stuff like 'picocell' and 'well, you could modify xyz and ... but you'd still need to sign on to the provider's network'

Look. It is very simple. Take advantage of the 'free calling to other members' most providers offer. I.e. Add a tmobile phone to your plan and make your plan a shared-minutes plan. Get free tmobile to tmoble. Make liberal use of the headset port.

Take ANY GSM phone that has a good USB and headset interface. A bit of straightforward hacking (as asterisk already supports sound cards for in and outbound sound channels) gets the headset connected to the asterisk box. Now all you need to do is press buttons on the phone.

Enter the usb interface, basically a com port in disguise. ATDT ring a bell? A lot of phones support this last time I checked. Most motorola phones for sure so you can dial folks in your bluetooth organizer with the click of a wand. Instead, you can just have Asterisk decode the DTMF and (with a dialing rule) when you've dialed 7 or 10 digits, it will encode it as an ATDT string, send to the phone, and connect the audio channels.

Ta-Da. It works, by the way (though instead of a USB interface I just hacked the keypad interface as it was more convenient for me to do that with the equipment I have. My interface is on a com port and tied together with an Atmel microcontroller FYI I did this initially because I was annoyed I had to pay to call to check my VM on my office phone).

I regret ... (1)

Y2 (733949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357599)

Wasn't it Nathan Hale who said, "I regret only that I have but one asterisk for my country"?

If you were going to do it (2, Interesting)

Stuart Ward (167946) | more than 8 years ago | (#13357644)

The way to do it would be to use a software defined radio (SDR), I know that several manufactors are looking to use SDR for their latest UMTS (3G) basestations, and eventually for the phones as well. [] would be a good starting point, but you would need some specilised hardware to work at GSM frequencies.
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