FreedomFi, the open 5G company, has launched FreedomFi One, an indoor cellular base station, also known as “small cell,” operating in the CBRS spectrum band. It is capable of providing secure and interference free wireless coverage with the range of 2-3x of 5GHz Wi-Fi, downlink speeds of up to 220Mbps and support up to 96 simultaneous cellular device connections.
According to the company, FreedomFi One enables customers with zero knowledge of LTE or 5G technologies to bring up a cellular network — simply plugging in FreedomFi One into a FreedomFi Gateway.
“An average cost to bring up a small cell site in the US today is $36,000, most of which is the cost of labor to complete the setup and configuration,” said Joey Padden, FreedomFi co-founder and CTO. “Through software automation and innovative open source technologies like Magma, we have cut that cost by two orders of magnitude. The 50,000 small cells we will deliver is more than Verizon currently has in the United States.”
FreedomFi customers who purchase FreedomFi One small cell will also receive a FreedomFi sim card that can be inserted into any cellular device that supports CBRS band and can use it as their own private cellular network. Through its partnership with Helium blockchain, FreedomFi also aims to reward operators of its small cells with HNT cryptocurrency for offloading mobile data from the macro networks of operators.
FreedomFi was founded by open source software veterans and contributes most of the software code it builds to the open source project Magma, governed by the Linux Foundation. To deliver FreedomFi One, the company partnered with Sercomm – a manufacturer of cellular radio equipment – to build 50,000 FreedomFi One base stations.
FreedomFi plans to build the largest neutral host small cell network in the US, independently operated by owners of real estate assets well-suited for radio deployments. More than 30,000 people in the US have joined the FreedomFi waitlist to purchase a FreedomFi Gateway and a certified small cell to date.
The company plans to announce partnerships with more small cell radio manufacturers in the coming months, with the outdoor versions of cellular base stations expected to start shipping in February 2022.
In another development, FreedomFi and Dish will collaborate on a pilot program that may provide Dish’s current and future wireless customers with access to the community-driven, neutral host CBRS hotspot network. The two companies will also actively work on a bilateral roaming agreement.