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KORUZA for organic growth of wireless optical networks

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Fast and low-cost Internet access is one of the primary goals of this time. Prompt deployment of information networks in any environment is key to bridging the digital divide, as well as boosting the economic development. "The Digital Agenda for Europe 2020" aims to enable ultrafast broadband access (100 Mbps) for at least half of Europe's households, at this time available just for a few due to very high infrastructure costs. Cost-effective, advanced and immediately available access technologies are needed to empower the world to construct the digital future.

One of these is KORUZA - an innovative open-source open-hardware wireless communication system, employing a new low-cost approach to designing free-space optical network systems, enabling building-to-building connectivity with a highly collimated light beam at a capacity of 1 Gbps (1000 Mbps) at distances up to 100 m. It is designed to be suitable for home as well as professional users, enabling organic bottom-up growth of networks by eliminating the need for wired fiber connections and associated high installation costs. The simplicity of use, low-cost and compact size allow the system to be deployed in any network.

How does it work?

KORUZA system connects two locations with a clear line of sight up to 100 m apart by placing a unit on either side. Infrared light of low power enables the connectivity at 1 Gbps while remaining eye-safe (Class 1). The system has sufficient capacity to be used for multi-user daisy-chain wireless connections. With the annual connection reliability greater than 99%, that can be increased further by adding a slower redundant Wi-Fi connection, KORUZA is suitable for branching out the high-capacity of a limited number of fiber access networks to a much wider population. The vast majority of existing free-space communication systems is designed for enterprise, carrier or military use, unsuitable for wider population.

For whom?

KORUZA is an open-source open-hardware ultrafast networking technology, innovating use of free-space optical networks by using mass produced electro-optical modules and combining them with 3D printing technology, simplifying the overall design. It is suitable for deployment in all situations - from home networks, community wireless networks to service providers. It is primarily designed for urban environments, where Wi-Fi networks suffer from spectrum congestion, disturbing each other and limiting their capacity and reliability. KORUZA is resilient to these problems as its light beam is highly collimated, thus numerous units can coexist in a dense urban area, where the demand for capacity is high and distances are relatively short. It is being developed to be a small and simple unit that can be mounted on a wall, window shelf or a pole, even by untrained professionals without specialized tools. Home users can thus simply establish the connection with a neighbour who has a fiber broadband connection. Community wireless networks can use the system to boost their wireless backbone capacity. Internet service providers can employ it for last-mile access and inter-user connectivity.


KORUZA is based on our previous work, a bachelor research project by Luka Mustafa: Very Affordable Laser Ethernet Transceiver, at University College London under supervision of Dr. Benn Thomsen. The results of the development and experimental observations are as well presented in a paper Reintroducing Free-Space Optical Technology to Community Wireless Networks on AMCIS2013 conference in Chicago, scientifically confirming the design approach of implementing modules primarily developed for wired optical networks in free-space optical systems, at a distance of 125 m with capacity 1 Gbps.

The idea for KORUZA has first been introduced on International Summit for Community Wireless Networks IS4CWN 2012 in Barcelona, gaining very positive feedback for further development. In 2013 KORUZA has reached in its prototype phase and in 2014 evolving to a stage that enables the deployment of a test network for demonstration and experimental purposes. Gained experience and measurements of long term performance will enable the system to become suitable for the end-user.

Luka Mustafa - Musti has been awarded the Shuttleworth Foundation Flash grant and NLnet grant for development of this project, as well as the IEEE ComSoc Student competition award. For the development of KORUZA and other exciting open-source project, Luka Mustafa has founded Institute Irnas Rače. In 2015 Luka Mustafa has been awarded Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship to develop KORUZA full-time and the active progress of this work is reported on IRNAS blog.

IRNAS NLNET prototype breakout

The development is now focused into preparing the system for the alpha release involving the community in the development and experimentation.

See Frequently asked questions!

Current state

Detailed description of prototypes, latest one generation 5 is the open source release candidate as well as used in the World Wide KORUZA experiment. Real time measurements data from currently deployed experiments can be found here. We are actively working on releasing the system open source in mid-2015 and are currently trialing its construction with a few select partners.

World Wide experiment deployments

Currently there are 7 deployments live of envisioned 12



The development of KORUZA happens at a non-profit organization Institute IRNAS Rače and supported by NLnet and Shuttleworth Foundation grants. We are continuously appealing to foundations for open development or growth, businesses that might use KORUZA in the future or be involved in the manufacturing process, for financial support.


This project has been supported by the Open Spectrum Alliance.

KORUZA has the potential to provide low cost high bandwidth links in urban areas that are suffering from congested WiFi spectrum. It is also an excellent example of combining leading edge technologies like 3D printing with commodity products. We are looking forward to seeing more prototypes, as well as open hardware and software, for the benefit of Wireless Community Networks and businesses who cannot afford overpriced fiber optic links between their locations. (Alexander List, Chairman, Open Spectrum Alliance)

We at believe that people should have the freedom and the tools to build their own decentralized, community-owned networks to enjoy their communication space and their freedom. KORUZA helps them doing so, so we fully support it! (Ninux community network, Italy)

The technical viability and the necessity of systems like KORUZA became obvious with the latest research and development headed by Luka. One less obvious but nevertheless extremely important aspect is the freedom of networking. Most other means of networking are regulated, thus not completely free. With KORUZA any community, whether in "developed" or "underdeveloped" world, may foresee themselves with information exchange facilities by building flexible and reliable networks at a fraction of costs of nowadays technologies. (Valer Mischenko, independent advisor)

I envision KORUZA to enable the creation of citizen established shared infrastructure for intra-community applications (video surveillance, telephony and video conferencing...) as well as to share the capacity of a high-capacity centrally purchased uplink. (Yahel Ben-David, UC Berkeley and De Novo Group)

KORUZA would aid me in establishing wireless networks where RF radiation causes concerns. (Christian Huldt, Solvare and Runmarö Broadband Association)

The advent of low cost, high capacity optical links will have a dramatic impact on urban networks. Your idea to re-purpose mass market SPF modules is brilliant. It was the re-purposing of mass market Wi-Fi silicon (originally designed for in-building networks) that has allowed the emergence of both community networks and WISPs. Re-purposing SFP modules provides an upgrade path for at least the core of any CWN or WISP network. (Brough Turner)

We support this modern approach to solving modern problems with up-to-date technologies. (Robert Vilhar, Director RF Systems, Aviat Networks)

Koruza is an excellent example of how people who are DIY knowledgeable can use existing technology pieces to create something completely new, very useful and wonderful. (Valent Turković)

Ario d.o.o supports project KORUZA.


Successful: Fund drive for Musti to personally present the project at AMCIS2013 conference in Chicago, IL on 17th August 2013

1535,92 EUR of total 1485,87 EUR


See details and supporters!

See blog post about the conference. Day 1 Day 2 Day 3


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Luka Mustafa – Musti

Hardware enthusiast and hacker, believer in open source life and keen on pushing existing systems to their limits and repurposing them to do the unimaginable. Actively involved in growing wlan slovenija community wireless network, developing sensor platforms and coordinating and deploying international wireless backbones. A ham radio operator, electronics and telecommunication student at University College London, the developer of KORUZA - an open wireless optical (free-space) system VALET and a keen speaker on the role of open networks and technologies. Interested in low-cost electronics system design, 3D printing, flying machines, taking things apart and tinkering, striving to make just about anything a bit better.

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