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FreedomFi Launches First Open Source 5G Network Appliance Enabling Vendor-Agnostic, Private LTE or 5G Networks

Using Magma open source software project, FreedomFi Gateway enables anyone to build low cost private, long range, reliable, and secure networks

FreedomFi, the open 5G start-up that helps anyone to build their own Private LTE or 5G network, announced today that the FreedomFi Gateway is now available in public beta.

Cellular LTE networks offer superior range, reliability and security over Wi-Fi, but have historically required proprietary hardware from incumbent network equipment manufacturers, making them too expensive to build and maintain if deployed at medium or small scale.

FreedomFi Gateway is a commodity, x86 network appliance that offers a straightforward, highly affordable path for anyone to build their own Private LTE or 5G network using open source software and small cell radios. Beta edition of the FreedomFi Gateway is available on the company website to open source project sponsors for as little as $300.

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“The 5G small cell market will be growing at 40% for the next 5-7 years and we’ll see a lot of competition and innovation,” said Joey Padden, FreedomFi co-founder and CTO. “The last thing you want to do is tie the destiny of your entire cellular network to the roadmap of a single radio vendor. FreedomFi Gateway makes it possible to build your Private LTE or 5G network on your terms, remaining vendor-agnostic and staying in control of the roadmap for your network architecture.”

“The biggest benefit of 5G is not faster speed, but efficiencies unlocked through software-centric architecture. Coupled with open source and cloud-native design principles, software-driven 5G networks will have an order-of-magnitude lower OPEX.” said Boris Renski, co-founder and CEO at FreedomFi. “Ultimately, it is not about streaming videos faster and doing VR in select hotspots, but about connecting the next billion people in emerging geographies or matching Private 5G economics to that of Wi-Fi for the enterprise use cases.”

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FreedomFi offers a couple of options for people to get started with open source private cellular through their website and pledges that all proceeds will be reinvested towards building open source software code as part of the Magma project. Sponsors contributing $300 towards the project will receive a beta FreedomFi gateway and limited, free access to CBRS spectrum. Those contributing at $1,000 dollars, will get support with a “network up” guarantee, offering FreedomFi guidance over a series of Zoom sessions. The guarantee is that FreedomFi will not give up until there is a connection.

FreedomFi will be demonstrating an end-to-end private cellular network deployment during their upcoming keynote at the Open Infrastructure Summit and publishing step-by-step instructions on the company blog.

“We operate hundreds of towers, providing fixed wireless access in rural areas of Wisconsin,” said Dave Bangert, President at WiConnect Wireless. “We were always keen on expanding our LTE internet service, but weary of lock-in issues associated with using a proprietary network core as well as the monthly recurring costs associated with most LTE platforms. We are now partnering with FreedomFi to expand our LTE network using open source and are excited to start rolling out the service to our customers.”

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Having started my career at Reliance Communication Ltd, I experienced first hand the disruptive power of the open, legacy free approach to building carrier networks,” said Bhavin Madlani,Co-Founder & Managing Director at Dishnet Africa Ltd . “We are excited to partner with FreedomFi to take the same approach in rolling our open, vendor-neutral LTE network service across various regions in Africa and contributing our learnings back to Magma open source project.”

“At Accelleran, we believe in the open, cloud-native future for 5G and LTE networks and have been committed to this vision since we launched,” said Frederic Van Durme, CEO at Accelleran. “We are excited to collaborate with FreedomFi, to combine our open RAN solutions with FreedomFi open core, offering an end-to-end cloud-native network to our joint customers.”

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