Lime Micro Hackathon


Lime Microsystems Programmable Radioo - extended hackathon - call for entries


BT has teamed up with Lime Microsystems, Ubuntu, Quortus, Amarisoft, eurecom, Facebook, EIT Digital and TechHub to find small companies and academic institutions who understand the power of Software Definable Radio to completely change the landscape of communications.

The Lime Microsystems Extended Hackathon is the latest in a series of competitions aimed at supporting the best creative talent, helping them to turn their ideas into reality.

Register your idea before the 9 June, and receive an invitation to our training and mini-hack session on 21 June. Final entries are to be received by 30 June. 

Register your interest to participate

For more information on the latest range of Lime Microsystems devices, see  and

Could your ideas help to change the face of mobile networks?

Communications networks have traditionally been the province of large engineering companies, producing tailored hardware with long development cycles. The emerging ability to move many of those hardware components into software, combined with Lime Microsystems flexible SDR hardware, should enable much more dynamic and flexible solutions, with far shorter development times.

So, we've partnered with Lime Microsystems for the hardware, and Amarisoft and Quortus for wireless protocol stacks and EPC, to search for innovative teams who are prepared to explore the art of the possible at the leading edge of technology.

We want teams to deliver imaginative and effective Proof of Concepts that clearly demonstrate how these technologies will have a significant impact on the traditional mobile network approach.

If your business thrives on innovation and has the skills and knowledge to take on this challenge we'd love to hear your ideas. This is a unique chance to contribute towards the future of networking by getting your ideas off the ground and into the public eye, with the support of BT and TechHub.

Your invitation to enter from Mansoor Hanif, BT director of Converged Networks, Research and Innovation

“It is now widely accepted that future networks must be flexible, programmable and as open as possible. And we accept the need and challenge to accelerate development timescales required to create and deploy innovative solutions on carrier-grade, standards-based network infrastructure, maintaining high quality and large-scale interoperability.

But how far are we from the moment we can match those ideals with deployable solutions?

Are their corners of our existing networks which even today could be best served through a wider and more open ecosystem?

And how can we stimulate and encourage the new skillsets required to create, develop and maintain these new network solutions.

If you are interested in the answer to even one of the questions above, then we warmly invite you to take part in this Hackathon, which is the next logical step following our successful crowd-funded campaign with Lime Micro last year”


  • BT will write up the event in a white paper, describing how software definable radio can impact future network and proposition development for mobile operators. This will include examples from notable entrants as well as a write up of all finalists invited through to the final.
  • BT will fast track one or more finalists in each category through the Facebook Telecom Infrastructure Acceleration Centre
  • Where appropriate, BT will introduce participants into the Scottish Innovation Programme  

Lime Microsystems


We have split the competition into 3 categories:

Category A:

Best implementation of an existing feature/solution using the LIME development kit while optimising Cost of development, Time to market and/or performance/efficiency.

Entries classed in this category will be used to benchmark the maturity of the new ecosystem versus the existing one, based on the 3 criteria above plus overall SW quality/stability.

Following the Hackathon, a report will be published to highlight the relative maturity of the new ecosystem and to identify areas which require focus, as well as proposing an optimal path to maturity. The report will also attempt to estimate an approximate maturity date. We believe this will be the world’s first report of this kind.

Category B:

Best application of LIME development kits to solve an existing problem (see list of scenaios below)

Category C:

Most imaginative and effective use of the programmable features of the LIME SDR chip

For Category B, we have identified 6 scenarios ;


We have split this challenge into five scenarios that BT and EE are particularly interested in:

Disaster recovery

  • Autonomous ad-hoc networks:
    Following a large-scale natural disaster other event which has caused a regional or local outage, demonstrate how your solution could allow network elements to re-organise set-up a local/regional autonomous network without connectivity to the central core. How could basic services be provided temporarily in the affected area without compromising sensitive customer data or security? How could these network elements re-organise in an optimal way to ensure the widest possible coverage with sufficient capacity, using meshed networking, airborne solutions or similar techniques.
  • Self-Healing networks:
    In the event of a local or regional outage demonstrate how your solution could be used to provide a remote connection for troubleshooting or fault diagnosis of remote elements which have lost contact with the OSS system through normal channels. How could your solution speed up diagnostics and fault analysis and help prioritise actions? Could your solution be used to remotely reboot network elements and also to reconfigure equipment to adjust physical parameters such as antenna tilts in order to mitigate coverage gaps due to the outage?
  • Search and Rescue:
    Following a natural disaster which has caused regional or local network outage, demonstrate how your solution could be used to detect users in distress by picking up signals from their smartphones and pinpointing the individuals locations. Could the solution be enhanced through airborne installation, allowing one or more supporting drones to fly over a remote rescue area, either autonomously or released in a “cluster” from a Search and Rescue team helicopter? 

Remote connectivity

  • Improve Indoor Coverage / “Last Mile” innovation:
    Develop a solution to improve indoor connectivity to homes where there are some/weak macro coverage outside, but no high speed broadband connection indoors – especially in remote / rural areas where a sustainable cost model is challenging.
  • 10MHz of TDD at 1900MHz:
    EE and BT has 10MHz of 3GPP TDD spectrum at 1900MHz. Propose a solution to maximise use of this spectrum to enhance coverage or performance for remote / rural areas, transport routes, embarked solutions or any other innovative use case.
  • Tethered Drone:
    Jack in a box or tethered drone, tethered for power, but maybe also for backhaul. Wake the drone to be released only when there’s an indication that a prospective user is coming into range.
  • Remote coverage:
    Providing managed coverage for a very remote area. Including functions such as being able to automatically kick off or severely limit individual users that use too much bandwidth
  • Device to Device:
    Propose a solution using device-to-device and/or relaying that can allow better connectivity in and around the home. Could they devices relay off each other back to the network?  

Internet of Things Hub

  • In Home:
    A combined Wi-Fi and NB-IOT module for in home deployment. As well as the hub, are there any in-home IOT solutions that you can demonstrate?
  • NB-IoT gateway:
    A stand-alone NB-IOT gateway, with all local IoT data being aggregated, and sent over 4G.
  • Remote Monitoring:
    Demonstrate how EE might be able to remote monitor sites more cost effectively. Can IoT be used to allow for remote configuration and maintenance of a base station? If a base station goes down, could IoT be used to diagnose and repair the fault? 

Enterprise Network as a Service

  • Cloud RAN:
    Examples of architectures giving greater flexibility and / or lower costs, for example enabling multiple carrier remote radio heads. Demonstrating the ability to deploy infrastructure whose resources can be utilised and reconfigured dynamically, dependent on changing demands
  • Converged networks:
    Approaches to balancing traffic seamlessly and dynamically across multiple bearer protocols and links, for example Wi-Fi + LTE + Ethernet
  • SD-WAN
    Method to enable the Lime unit to connect into a corporate overlay VPN using zero-touch configuration and centralised policy control of the Lime’s routing of VPN traffic over WiFi and LTE or Ethernet interfaces. The unit could run an available SD-WAN solution e.g. Nokia Nuage, Viptela, Velocloud etc, as a Virtual Network Function (VNF) or an original SD-WAN solution could be built from open source components e.g. netopeer.
  • Ethernet Interfaces
    Method to support Ethernet connectivity via a USB adapter so that the unit can support mixed fixed and wireless connections. Particularly useful for Enterprises using combinations of fixed and wireless methods in the SD-WAN use case.  

Entertainment: Large-scale TV delivery

  • 4G to 5G Broadcast and multicast evolution:
    Could mobile technology complement or replace fixed DTT transmissions? To date, LTE-Broadcast has not been widely deployed. However, increasing pressure on spectrum means that there is a huge commercial benefit to positioning 5G as a generic technology for all digital radio-based services, including mainstream TV. The starting point could be to create an open source baseline LTE-B system as the starting point for 5G broadcast development.
  • Dynamic use of multicast:
    Multicast Operation On Demand (MooD) offers the potential for highly efficient use of LTE multicast capability. For example, when a popular sports event is on, there will be a huge increase in linear viewing. Can we use broadcast or multicast capability dynamically to ensure the best use of spectrum when such events occur?  

… and anything else!

We are also interested to hear any ideas you have outside of those scenarios, making use of the Lime Microsystems SDR kit.

Graphic 1

Judging panel

The judging panel for the Lime Micro Extended Hackathon competition will be made up of senior individuals from EE and BT, Lime Microsystems, Quortus, Amarisoft, and EIT Digital. Further details to be announced shortly.

Hackathon entries will be judged according to one of the following three categories. At least one winning entry will be selected from each category:

Graphic 2

What's happening when?

8 May – 30 June
Entry period - we are asking SMEs with ideas to first complete a registration form to receive more information and the link to complete the full application form, optionally including a short video.

On the 31 May we will hold a Q+A call to answer any questions – please send questions in advance by email!

9 June – 16 June
Our panel of experts will review the entries submitted so far, and agree who to invite to participate in the process.

16 June
Initial shortlist announced - we'll contact the participants on 16 June.

16 June – 30 June
Our panel of experts will review all the remaining entries submitted, and agree who else to invite to participate in the process

7 July
Final shortlist announced – we will contact participants on 7 July.

17 June – 31 July
We will run regular Q+A calls for all participants.

During this period, BT and EE will be looking for early stage Proof of Concepts from participants to demonstrate at a number of internal and external events. Logistics permitting, the teams are very welcome to participate in those.

We will also run a London based training session and mini hack on 21 June. Materials from this event will also be circulated to all participants 

1 September - 3 September
We will shortlist and contact the finalists in each category for the Hackathon event

A show and tell / hackathon event in London, with the ability for teams based elsewhere in the world to join by video. Judging will take place at this event.

After 3 September
BT will be working with the winning participants to further develop their ideas. See also Outcomes above.