Worlds first 20 minute voice call from a Free Software GSM stack on a phone

As Dieter Spaar has pointed out in a mailing list post on the OsmocomBB developer list, he has managed to get a first alpha version of TCH (Traffic Channel) code released, supporting the FR and EFR GSM codecs.

What this means in human readable language: He can actually make voice calls from a mobile phone that runs the Free Software OsmocomBB GSM stack on its baseband processor. This is a major milestone in the history of our project.

While Dieter has been working on the Layer1 TCH support and the setup of the voiceband path in the analog baseband chip (audio ADC/DAC), Andreas Eversberg has been quietly working on getting call control of Layer3 into a state where it can do all the signalling required for mobile-originated and mobile-terminated call.

Combining both of their work together, they have been able to make a 20 minute long voice call from a baseband processor running a Free Software GSM stack. For all we know, it is the first time anything remotely like this has been done using community-developed Free Software. Five years ago I would have thought it's impossible to pull this off with a small team of volunteers. I'm very happy to see that I was wrong, and we actually could do it. With less than half a dozen of developers, in less than nine months of unpaid, spare-time work.

Sure, the next weeks and months will be spent on bringing the code from alpha level to something more stable, fixing known issues and known bugs, etc. But I'm confident the biggest part of the work on the OsmocomBB stack is behind us. Big thanks to the developer team driving this project forward.