Genesys Documentation

Now available online here:

Also a YouTube video with an overview of Genesys Administrator and configuration options:


Open Source Telecom

The GSM Association (GSMA) ( is an association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardising, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system.

Universal service funds (USF) are set up by levies on telecoms in individual countries, which are then used to increase consumer access based on criteria such as income distribution, rural and urban population ratios, literacy and geography.

Universal service funds (USF) set up to improve poor and rural access to mobile services worldwide are “inefficient and ineffective”, according to a recent GSMA report.

More than $11bn (£7.2bn) has yet to be spent, according to the GSMA. “Very few funds, if any, would appear to disburse all that they collect,” it said.

The GSMA report estimates that more than one-third of the 64 funds surveyed have yet to disburse any of the contributions they have collected and less than 12.5% of the funds are meeting their own targets.

This is where Open Source Telecom comes in …

“Fairwaves ( helps mobile operators radically widen subscriber base and boost profitability in low-income regions. With a minimal initial budget, operator could quickly roll-out his network and launch profit-generating services. Fairwaves sells equipment and provide hosted services for mobile operators.

In Fairwaves we believe that communications could be affordable for everyone and mobile networks could be profitable anywhere. We bet on a network of proven partners, the power of open-source and the latest IC technology.”

Below is a link the personal manifesto of Alexander Chemeris, CEO/Founder of Fairwaves:

“I believe that mobile/wireless industry is broken now — it lacks cooperation. Competition is a good thing, but cooperation is no less important. Without cooperation companies throw millions of $$$ to re-implement the wheel instead of implementing what’s important for a customer. And I believe open-source is a great (the only?) way to fix this. Personally, I love open-source exactly for this reason — it improves cooperation and cuts inefficiency. I can’t say how much I hate inefficiency, I can’t stand duplicated efforts which do not lead to innovation.”

Hopefully you now know why I have become so interested in OpenBTS, UmTRX, OsmocomBB etc. over the last few months!



OsmocomBB is an Free Software / Open Source GSM Baseband software implementation. It consists of 3 elements:

  • Firmware running on the baseband chip of a compatible Mobile Phone such as a Motorola C115. Normally this is the GSM Layer 1 (physical layer) firmware
  • A communication process (osmocon) running on a Unix host which relays communication between GSM Layer 2/3 (Data Link and Network layers) applications and the GSM Layer 1 firmware running on the Phone using a serial cable connection
  • GSM Layer 2/3 applications which run also run on the Unix host

The easy way to think of OsmocomBB is a physical NIC card (Mobile Phone and baseband firmware) with a host driver (osmocon) which can be accessed by GSM applications.

The beauty of OsmocomBB is that (ignoring the cost of the Unix host) a compatible Motorola Mobile Phone and USB serial cable can be bought on eBay for less than £10. A £30 Raspberry Pi ( can even be used as the Unix Host.

Playing with GSM and access to GSM Layer 1 does not come any cheaper than that!


osmocon is responsible for downloading custom baseband firmware into the phone. After downloading a firmware image, osmocon turns into an High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) mulitplexer/demultiplexer allowing for multichannel communication with the phone.

When using the GSM Layer 1 firmware GSM L1CTL messages are received via a USB serial port by osmocon, which demultiplexes the different data streams and passes L1CTL on via a unix domain socket into whatever GSM Layer 2/3 application is running (e.g. mobile, cell_log, ccch_scan, bcch_scan, cbch_sniff or other naughty GSM applications such as RACHell).

./osmocon -p /dev/ttyUSB0 -m c123xor ../../target/firmware/board/compal_e88/layer1.compalram.bin

mobile is a L2/L3 application that implements most of the behavior of a regular GSM telephone but is extended in many ways. The mobile application is used in combination with the layer1.bin firmware.


ccch_scan is a L2/L3 application that can sync to a carrier ARFCN then logs power measurement and GSM Common Control Channel (CCCH) information such as Paging Requests and Immediate Assignments. Like mobile, ccch_scan is also used in combination with the layer1.bin firmware.

./osmocom-bb/src/host/layer23/src/misc/ccch_scan -a 512

As an alternative to the GSM Layer 1 firmware, the RSSI firmware can be downloaded. RSSI is an application that can be used to monitor the received signal indication (RSSI) of ARFCNs or the entire spectrum. RSSI is too big to be loaded directly so it has to be chainloaded e. g. osmocom first loads a little chainloader binary which in turn is used load actual payload (big RSSI binary) specified via “-c” option:

./osmocom-bb/src/host/osmocon/osmocon -p /dev/ttyUSB0 -m c123xor -c ./osmocom-bb/src/target/firmware/board/compal_e88/rssi.highram.bin ./osmocom-bb/src/target/firmware/board/compal_e88/chainload.compalram.bin

YouTube demo here …