Facebook Launches OpenCellular Platform

In an attempt to bring internet connectivity to underserved parts of the world, Facebook has launched an open source communications platform.

Mark Zuckerberg shared images on his profile of a small device that contained the hardware needed to set up a local, wireless network.

In a blog post he wrote: "OpenCellular is the next step on our journey to provide better, more affordable connectivity to bring the world closer together."

Facebook’s efforts in developing countries have been widely criticised over the past year.

With a user base of 1.6bn Facebook is hoping to bring on new users by looking to parts of the word that do not have the social media network yet, or even the internet.

Facebook has developed several technologies including a solar-powered drone that is being engineered and built in the UK.

Facebook’s engineer, Kashif Ali, said:  "Traditional cellular infrastructure can be very expensive, making it difficult for operators to deploy it everywhere and for smaller organizations or individuals to solve hyperlocal connectivity challenges."

It's often unaffordable for them to attempt to extend network access in both rural and developed communities."

Kashif said the hardware would eventually be made open source and is capable of working with a wide range of common network standards, such as 2G, LTE and Wi-Fi. 

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