- support for the Nuand BladeRF and
- compatibility with YateUCN.
The cooperation with Nuand has been very rewarding; the BladeRF offers a very affordable platform for experimenters and students to work with YateBTS. The YateUCN support, however, represents a fundamental shift in the capabilities of open source mobile networks. YateUCN was designed to provide VoLTE service in a IMS 4G core network, but it also can act as an MSC/VLR for the 2.5G YateBTS. YateUCN can use SS7 protocol to a legacy HLR or talk DIAMETER to a new-generation HSS. This means that YateUCN allows us to integrate YateBTS directly into existing SS7 infrastructure, something that has been a significant roadblock for similar RAN implementations. This capability is not hypothetical; it has been demonstrated using the same HLR that is used by Yate MVNO customers in production networks. And since YateUCN is an IMS system anyway, it will allows operators to build mixed 2G/4G networks using a combination of YateBTS and standard eNodeBs, what we call a Unified Core Network.
The short of it is that with YateUCN, YateBTS is compatible with nearly all existing and foreseeable mobile operator core networks. For me, this represents a huge milestone for what started as OpenBTS, a possibility that has existed for a long time but has only now been realized. More importantly, it gives operators the chance to lower costs by using 2G in those places where it is an appropriate choice, even after the shift to IMS core networks. I hope to address the importance of that capability in a future post. Until then, get a Lab Kit and have fun playing with YateBTS 3.0.