This is the biggest breakthrough in cellular network technology. Burning Man will showcase a GSM network that is open-source, uses solar power and is low cost. Coming to the underlying technology, it introduces VOIP with existing handsets without the need to buy any new devices.
Glenn Edens, one of the founders of the service describes it as,
We make GSM look like a wireless access point. We make it that simple.
The VOIP used is Asterix and the backend is OpenBTS. This allows them to interfere signals and modify them with ease. The developers are working hard for promotional work are giving away 50,000 cellphones to people who want to try this out. The free cellphones will be given to attendees at Burning Man.
A test network will be present at the conference to test the system in implementation. The test network thus created will be valid only inside of the Burning Man compound and will not be available outside because it needs to get a proper license before going global.
The system does not depend on one type of connectivity only and is flexible beyond imagination. For example, it can take the Internet route to transmit voice. This system looks promising for remote ares who still do not have cellular services.