Spencer Sevilla: Open-Source Telecom Networks - From Pipe-Dream To Running Reality

January 13, 2020

By , Assistant Director 

Spencer Sevilla

CROSS - CITRIS Joint Seminar

Event Information:

Date and time: January 22, 2020, 2:00 - 3:00pm
Location: Engineering 2 Room 599

Light refreshments to be served


Despite the fact that cellular networks serve more users and push more data than wireline networks, and despite the dominance of open-source software in most high-performance and cloud-scale environments, there exists a remarkable lack of production-grade open-source telecom software. This lack is driven by many intersecting challenges, including regulatory hurdles, opaque system interfaces, high hardware costs. However, recent developments in both LTE and 5G architectures and regulations, as well as the recent commoditization of cellular hardware, are changing this paradigm, promising to open a previously locked-down space and enable the proliferation of small-scale network operators. To leverage these developments and fill this gap, our lab created the Community LTE Project (CoLTE). CoLTE is the first productized and fully open-source LTE implementation, and is specifically designed to facilitate deployment and operation by non-expert users in remote and developing contexts. CoLTE networks are currently deployed in three countries and serve slightly under 1,000 subscribers. 


Spencer Sevilla is a researcher at the University of Washington, where he leads the Community LTE (CoLTE) Project and works with Kurtis Heimerl on global Internet connectivity, open-source telecom, and community networks. Prior to UW, Spencer did his PhD at UC Santa Cruz, where he was advised by J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves.