[quote="Homiesinheaven"]hmmm, so i dont get all the jargon. does the OpenBTS project get people connected to ATT and Verizon or do those companies have towers near there?
and are OpenBTS nerd burners testing an idea out or just another company trying to make money off of the event?[/quote]
We're nerd burners, probably of the worst possible kind.
BRC is a unique test environment and we also happen to think that it is the Happiest Place on Earth. We're not in cahoots with "big cellular". Our "operations center" was two laptops in a tent at 4:30&G. We do not and cannot charge people for use of the system. We do it for the experience and because it's damned fun.
Last year there was some confusion because the playa was also getting service from Commnet Wireless, a commercial cellular carrier operating under the ATT and VZN brands from a truck near Frog Pond. This year, hopefully, Commnet will stay home, which will be a lot less confusing for people. Also, the OpenBTS system is *much* more reliable than last year. We will provide on-playa texting for people who want to participate. We are still considering off-playa texting and time-limited speech calls.
Also, if it matters, BRC is no longer our only test site. We have a full-time pilot site in the island nation of Niue. The development of the Niue system would have been impossible without our experience from BM2009, so we (and the cell users of Niue) thank all of the other burners who put up with us last year and all of the volunteers and contributors whose work got recycled in that remote corner of the Pacific.