A Shift Towards Open Source

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Economists’ Forecasts Open Source in Telecommunications will be Mainstream by 2025

Telecom — a 140-year-old industry — has accepted Open Source as today’s industry standard for transforming legacy technologies. Telecom companies are learning from the computer sector to move away from their traditional, proprietary development models towards collaborative software-focused approaches to compete against web-based firms, which are transitioning into their space.

“Open Source Software has the high ground in the telecom industry,” wrote RCR Wireless News reporter Nathan Cranford. “Open Source solutions are more affordable, innovative, secure and agile than traditional proprietary programs.”

If Communication Service Providers (CSPs) don’t get on board, they will be left behind, in a market estimated to be a $29 billion industry by 2025, according to ABI Research.

Some companies from all over the world are embracing Open Source and modernizing their infrastructures. Other businesses are slowly realizing Open Source not only plays a critical role in Telecom but provides many benefits to their organizations. Among these are reduced development and operating costs, which in turn allows them to offer savings to customers. In addition, Telecom firms can further maximize their budgets by integrating Open Source Software (OSS) which reduces — if not, eliminates — licensing fees. Additionally, they realize such Open Source platforms such as Linux, OpenStack and Kubernetes are key components of almost every LTE and 5G network on the planet.

Here’s what a few of OIN’s telecom members are up to.

AT&T engineers and developers are contributing code that’s being used around the world and working on such major Open Source initiatives as ONAP, DANOS, Acumos and Akraino Edge Stack.

KDDI are top share companies in Japan and are investing in Open Source start-ups in Japan through its KDDI Open Innovation Fund which is $10 billion JPY.

SK Telecom — South Korea’s largest wireless carrier — was the 1st telecommunications operator to adopt OpenChain ISO 5230, which is one of OIN’s community initiatives. This supports its mission to remain a global leader in such technologies as 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data analysis, the Internet of Things (IoT) and quantum cryptography communications.

Verizon is committed to the Open Source community, participates in several open source consortiums — including OIN — and makes its Open Source code available to developers worldwide through its Free and OSS portal.

Vodafone Mobile Broadband for Linux — which is is mostly written in Python —aims to intelligently manage all manner of cellular networks, GSM, GPRS, 3G, HSDPA and LTE and took approximately 5 years to evolve.

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What Our Telecommunications Members Say

We look forward to participating in the Open Invention Network. Many of the services and apps that our customers depend on every day have been developed using open source software and we look forward to helping safeguard its future.  
Luke IbbetsonHead of Group R&DVodaphone