DIY 1G phone network

Have you ever wished to make phone calls under the radar like spies in a Hollywood flick ? While that might be a bit outrageous, one hacker has posted a guide for anyone who wants to build their own GSM network thus allowing a part of this wish to become reality.

$400 Network

A DIY guide for building a network was released at Shmoocon, a Washington, DC-based hacker convention. The network will be based on the 1G network and takes a few old phones and in investment of around $ 400 to make it work. The guide comes from the minds of Brandon Creighton who had previously helped build a GSM based network at DEF CON – a hacker conference based in Las Vegas. But unlike GSM based networks, his network is a little less sophisticated.

Only caveat in this being that the network will be extremely short ranged. You will be able to make calls with this network & all of these calls will be free but, the calls will be restricted to your immediate neighbourhood. It will also need an old phone that’s capable of making calls over the 1G network.

Since most cellphone networks have moved onto 2G, 3G and 4G, the bandwidths 1G operates on are a relative ghost land. 1G as its name suggests, was the first generation of wireless technology and therefore, needs a phone from that generation to work such as the chunky Motorola DynaTAC.

The Guide

Firstly, you will need to download Creighton’s code from Github. Then comes the aforementioned $ 400 investment in building a software-defined radio to handle cellphone tower duties. With some tinkering and learning a bit of telecom knowledge, you should be able to set up the network comfortably. Although this network won’t be replacing your smartphone, its a nifty experiment if you wish yo try it out.