Martin Garner of analysis firm CCS Insight, told CNBC via email: "Facebook has plenty of development options with its own services and doesn't aspire to doing the job of network operators. Its main motivation here is to help change the economics of radio networks, in order that more of the world can get online and then use Facebook services."
But, Facebook's efforts to enter emerging markets – such as those in parts of Africa or India – have been criticized in the past. A prior attempt involved the ill-fated internet package Free Basics in India, which was unpopular for the monopoly it enabled the company and its partners, and was effectively blocked by India's telecommunication's regulator.
"Facebook's moves in the telecoms world are always viewed with suspicion," Garner said. "Once it is open-sourced, OpenCellular will succeed if it can stand on its merit as a technical approach, rather than being seen as a Facebook initiative."
Facebook is currently testing OpenCellular at its headquarters in California, with a view to initially implementing the device "this summer".
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