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Jan 30 2018

Open source is taking the telecom industry by storm

Open source is coming full speed ahead – in fact it has already come to areas which, before would have seemed inconceivable. It’s clear that the open source way of working and methodology has shown its strength way beyond the early projects some decades ago. The telecom industry is by no means immune to this change. Open source has been a hot topic in the traditional telecoms media, and between vendors and operators for the past few years, though development has more gradual that it would actually seem. We’ve seen many new high profile open source projects popping up during the past few years like  Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), OpenFastPath, etc  But the recent announcement about Linux Foundation Networking, which combines various independent projects under a common vision, is a sign that open source is maturing, not least within telecoms.

Nokia is no newcomer to the open source party, having actively used and contributed to it for the last 20 years, for example in product development – even creating open source mobile phone platforms before other vendors (Symbian, Maemo and Meego will ring a few bells!). This experience has cultivated a strong open source culture  at Nokia, and a hands-on understanding of  what makes open source communities and technologies successful.

Open source has become an integral part of the R&D process and membership in open source communities is more the rule than the exception now. What’s exciting is to see how this will shape the industry and enable completely new ways of collaboration within and across industries. Instead of specifying technologies together, the industry is getting together to actually implement software, working side by side to create the futuretogether. Enabling innovation and other positive consequences we can start dreaming of now. I’m sure most of us clearly remember when telephony systems were national and mutually incompatible. Standardization then paved the way for global interoperability. Now open source is shaping the direction of software in the same way.

One can only conclude that the future is open!

 

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About Jonne Soininen

Open source enthusiast and Head of Open Source Initiatives in Nokia, Jonne serves as a board member of Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) and Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP).

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