With Facebook already dominating much of the developed world, the social network is now taking steps to conquer remote areas without access to the internet.
The new platform, OpenCellular, involves a shoebox-sized device which allows for cheap wireless access in places where internet has previously proven scarce.
The system is designed to provide the tools to set up a network, involving both the physical equipment and the software that runs it.
The source will support wireless networking standards such as 2G, LTE and Wi-Fi, but OpenCellular’s modular output also means it can be upgraded to support future and more advanced standards, as well as being fit to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Facebook head honcho Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post: “We designed OpenCellular as an open system so anyone – from telecom operators to researchers to entrepreneurs – can build and operate wireless networks in remote places.
“It’s about the size of a shoe box and can support up to 1,500 people from as far as 10 kilometres away.”
The system is currently being tested in Facebook’s headquarters ahead of an initial implementation this summer, with the company working with partners to make OpenCellular widely available.