Bug Labs & Verizon – Open source hardware on a 3G network – legit, too :)

Pt 10401

As far I can recall this is the first time an open source hardware product has been certified for 3G networks. There are many milestones in open source hardware, and there will be many more – this is one of them.

Get on the country’s most reliable network, with full compliance, day one! BUG’s 3G modems are all pre- certified to work on Verizon Wireless. BUGs are also FCC and CE certified, which means you can build and deploy them right away, no further testing required.

More:
Open Development @ Verizon.
Bug Labs and Verizon Wireless Partner!

6 thoughts on “Bug Labs & Verizon – Open source hardware on a 3G network – legit, too :)

  1. I always find it a bit hard to figure out what bug’s saying since its a bit web 2.0 marketing talk. But are they open sourcing the actual 3g modem code vs just giving you a verizon approved piece of hardware you can attach to something else ?

    Seems like it’s more likely to be the latter, but that seems odd because of the hubub surrounding it, since there are literally hundreds of cdma/gsm/3g modems around already.

    Surely open sourcing the actual modem part would break any certification, fcc and verizon.

    1. Charliex,
      We’re not open sourcing the actual modem hardware or software. We can’t because we don’t own either. We’re trying to make it easier to use them, not just for prototyping but all the way up thru production. You’re right, there are lots of modems on the market. But unless you get them PTCRB and carrier certified (a process that can easily run you $75k – $100k) you can’t use them on the network (at least not in an authorized way).

      The deal we struck with Verizon Wireless basically lets anyone use BUGs, with their blessing, on their networks – 3G now and soon 4G. They just have to use the wireless devices that come bundled with our system. Out of the gate these will be just simple USB modems but will grow to include many more choices – all pre-certified and usable on their network out-of-the-box.

      Why is this a big deal? Because today if you went to, say, Sierra Wireless and bought one of their 3G/CMDA pre-certified modems, and built it into a prototype, you still couldn’t deploy it on the network without getting the device re-certified (see costs above – and this is assuming you pass at all!). Using the BUG platform, your prototypes are immediately usable. In fact, you could deploy 100 BUGs using this approach. The per device cost would be higher but if you account for the fact that you are not spending the time and energy on certifications it’s actually a much faster and cheaper approach.

      Moving from a BUG prototype to a BUG-based production unit (more integrated/non-modular, cost reduced, etc) would require a re-certification but the goal there is that the labs will be familiar with the platform and it’s components. This, in turn, should significantly reduce the time and cost necessary to get certified and deployed.

      Hope this helps answer you question. Thx.

      1. So it is just what i said it is, closed source hardware and software thats got the red herring of being verizon ‘approved’ you can already do this with many GSM modems, and cdma, verizon is a typically a very closed network carrier.
        GSM is a simple standard, you can get a GSM modem slap it on to any network and it’ll be fine, there is no approval needed. So in order to sell this as being ok because its approved, is the red herring, you don’t need approval for GSM devices, thats why you can buy a GSM phone slap a SIM card in and and start using it, the same thing goes for the modems.

        this seems disingenuous to me, it is in absolutely no way open source.

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