Terragraph, Evenstar software moves over to the Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation launched a new open-source project that brings together Meta’s Terragraph and some software from Meta’s Evenstar under a new project umbrella called “LF Connectivity.”

Meta’s Terragraph is a fixed wireless access (FWA) service that delivers multi-gigabit-speed data using 60 GHz unlicensed millimeter wave spectrum. Terragraph works by using its transmitters, which are typically deployed on street-lights or rooftops, to create a distributed network. It can extend a fiber network wirelessly through these nodes to provide last mile connectivity.

Evenstar was announced in February 2020 as part of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), of which Facebook (now known as Meta) was one of the founders. Evenstar is an initiative to design and manufacture open radio access network (RAN) radios. At times the work on Evenstar has been done by TIP members, and at other times it was associated with Facebook Connectivity. But Meta pulled the plug on Facebook Connectivity in December 2022.

Now, Meta is contributing the Open M-Plane software component of Meta's Evenstar hardware design for configuration and management of the RAN. The software is hardware-independent, and aligned with O-RAN specifications to help operators source hardware from different vendors. 

While Meta is contributing the Open M-Plane software component of Meta's Evenstar, Fierce Wireless asked about the rest of Evenstar and whether that open RAN radio project is still being handled by TIP, now that Facebook Connectivity has been closed down.

Meta spokesperson Kristin Lee said, “We anticipate that the Evenstar radio reference design will also be enabled for community access. Happy to keep you posted as we have more to share.”
Lee also said that Open M-Plane was built to support Evenstar radios, but it is not strictly tied to Evenstar, so Meta was able to publish it as a standalone, hardware-independent project.

In addition to the Terragraph and Evenstar software, Meta is also contributing its Maveric software to LF Connectivity.

Maveric enables the evaluation of cellular network optimization algorithms before their deployment on the network. It is a developer platform that leverages AI/ML approaches to provide realistic cellular network representations and examples that demonstrate its use. 

“Meta is pleased to contribute our Terragraph, Open M-Plane and Maveric technologies to the Linux Foundation’s Connectivity Project,” stated Shah Rahman, engineering director of Meta. “By sharing these technologies, we hope to further improve global connectivity by enabling other companies to participate and contribute to those projects.”

According to Meta’s announcement, supporting organizations of LF Connectivity include AMD, Accton, Cambium Networks, Edgecore Networks, Qualcomm Technologies, Siklu Communications, University of Delhi and VIAVI. 

Lee said these supporting organizations are listed because they’ve all been involved in the software for the contributed projects in the past, and many will continue to support the ecosystem.