The IP04 Open telephony hardware for developing regions, The Free Telephony Project
Published 1 Dec 2007 by David Rowe, Alberto Escudero-Pascual
We have a vision. Anyone should be able to make a phone call to anyone else. Telephony should be regarded as a human right, not a privilege of the developed world. With the IP04, open hardware, and minimal capital cost, this vision is now possible.
This document describes the IP04, a low cost open hardware IP-PBX developed by the Free Telephony Project1 for developing regions. The IP04 is a tiny, full function Asterisk-based IP-PBX with 4 analogue ports. It retails for around $400 but can be potentially be built and deployed to developing regions for under $100.
The hardware design is free as in speech. Anyone is welcome to copy, modify, and improve the hardware design, just like open software. Open hardware offers exciting new possibilities, for example dramatic end-user cost reductions; the potential for local manufacture; customisation to support developing world conditions such as low power and local languages; and flexibility, for example integration of solar charge controller and WiFi chip sets.
The IP04 is a mature design that is in volume production today. The next step is to deploy the technology for field trials to optimise the system and evaluate business models to support viral growth of the technology.
This document summarizes the IP04 project, including history of the product and key benefits for the developing world. Finally we present the outline of a plan for the next stage in the roll out of this technology: beta deployment of the 100 IP04 nodes.
Keyword(s): Open Source, Open Source Software, Open hardware, VoIP,