Lime Microsystems and Canonical's LimeNET SDR crowdfunding

February 17, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
The software-defined-radio (SDR) silicon company, and the commercial face of Ubuntu, have jointly announced a second round to follow the initial $1million crowdfunding campaign for open-source, 5G and IoT capable SDR with app stores.

This funding is conceived as providing a market for round-one developers to sell their apps on the first open source mobile and IoT base station with app stores. Interested parties can register at to be notified when the crowdfunding campaign goes live.


Specifically, Lime Microsystems and Canonical propose new crowdfunding for LimeSDR the flexible, next-generation, open source Software Defined Radio. The new campaign called LimeNET is intended for use primarily as a mobile and IoT base station. LimeNET base stations (say the proposers) hold the potential to completely transform the way telco networks run by shifting the emphasis and value away from proprietary hardware to open hardware with app stores on top.


Lime Micro and Canonical are looking to turn the mobile telephony business model “on its head”. Telco hardware is expensive, slow to develop, and has proven a ‘brake’ to innovation in the industry. By ‘open sourcing’ Lime Microsystems’ 5G and IoT capable SDR base station design, Lime and Canonical are looking to effectively ‘commoditise’ network hardware and shift the value centre towards software.


LimeSDR-based base stations can, its maker claims, not only run cellular standards from 2G or 5G, as well as IoT protocols like LoRa, Sigfox, NB-IoT, LTE-M, Weightless and others but any type of wireless protocol. Open source base stations allow R&D departments to try out new ideas around industrial IoT, content broadcasting and many more. Commoditised base stations allow any enterprise to run their own base station and get spectrum from their operators as a service. Base stations can have new form factors as well, like being embedded into vending machines or attached to drones.


“It’s clear that existing telco business models are quickly running out of steam,” commented Maarten Ectors, VP IoT, Next-Gen Networks & Edge Cloud, Canonical, “and that operators need to find new revenue streams. Together with Lime Microsystems, we’re looking to initiate a ‘herding’ behaviour that