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Communications Hardware

Vodafone Foundation Launches Cell Site In a Backpack 37

Posted by timothy
from the secret's-in-the-backhaul dept.
Bismillah writes "The Vodafone Foundation's Mini Instant Network cellular access site is deployable in ten minutes and can be carried on as hand luggage on commercial airliners. It's only 2G, but hey ..." This reminds me a bit of the Gargoyles in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, and useful for more than just emergencies.
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Vodafone Foundation Launches Cell Site In a Backpack

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 01, 2014 @06:10AM (#46374589)

    can be carried on as hand luggage on commercial airliners.

    Good luck with that. But if you succeed, you will have nice cell phone coverage on the entire flight. Is this cell site actually intended to be connected back to the grid, or is it only for communication between phones connected to this one site?

  • Re:Obvious use (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BlueStrat (756137) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @07:27AM (#46374729)

    [Obvious use]...Great for spying on people's phone communications

    Or, alternately, enabling people to set up their own local networks (throw in a dash of encryption, maybe?) when a government shuts down the carriers to aid in suppressing mass political/popular opposition, protests, marches, demonstrations, etc.

    It could ultimately be tracked down by the government, but even with no attempts to transmission-wise obscure the source/location (well, lets be real...it would necessarily be on a low-power transmitter, so there's that) it's damned hard, particularly in a dense urban area, to locate a signal from the ground.

    There's also the practical matter of logistics for the authorities. There aren't a whole lot of radio tracking & location vans around. The FCC has typically only had one or two in most of the States in the US, with exceptions for the larger States like California where the vast area of the State demands a larger fleet, but still relatively very few for covering a huge area. Michigan for instance had two (one was almost always parked and served as a backup vehicle against mechanical failures/repair) the last I'd heard.

    Helicopters would be faster, but there aren't that many so equipped either, even in the military. The military signal tracking capabilities are more focused on weapons systems and target tracking, not domestic small-transmitter rabbit-hunting that doesn't involve something akin to a HARM missile taking out a half-block area. That might go largely unnoticed and be considered by many to be an improvement in large sections of Detroit, but elsewhere it would definitely cause mass anti-government public demonstrations, protests, uprisings, death, and violence.

    And, I think we can *all* agree, here...

    "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

    Strat

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