The Osmocom project (if you count its predecessor OpenBSC) have been running for close to 10 years, creating a large number of Open Source projects related to mobile communications. We have never needed nor wanted any legal entity for it. It's a pure/classic FOSS project, open to contributions from anyone.
Until today, you could only contribute in one of the following forms:
- by writing code (bug fixes, new features, etc) and submitting it (which means you need to be a developer)
- by writing documentation / improving the wiki
- helping other users on the mailing lists, IRC, or in other forums
- donating cellular equipment (which many don't have)
- hiring a freelancer or a company to write code and contribute to Osmocom on your behalf
- buying products or services from companies who dedicate lots of work to Osmocom
However, we've repeatedly getting requests from some individuals who wanted to contribute to the project in an easy way, even if they are not a developer, and/or don't have time, and/or don't have the size of a budget to fund development of entire new features or sub-systems.
Today, Osmocom announces that we have joined Open Collective in order to enable you to make financial contributions, either one-off or recurring.
We'll be using the funds (if we get any!) according to our funding policy outlined at https://opencollective.com/osmocom/expenses/new# in order to pay for expenses such as hosting costs for our servers / IT infrastructure, travel funding for the annual developer conferences, etc. Any and all expenses paid from those funds will be visible on the OpenCollective website. You cannot ask for more transparency than that :)
Thanks in advance for your kind assistance!