26 March 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Telecoms IT group TM Forum is partnering with the Linux Foundation to promote open-source software projects for carriers.
The two organisations will work together on the commercial
deployment of open-source software in the industry, they are
due to say today.
The announcement will come on the opening of the Open
Networking Summit, the Linux Foundation’s four-day
conference in Los Angeles.
Carriers backing the move include AT&T and Orange, Ken
Dilbeck, the TM Forum’s vice president for
collaboration and R&D, told Capacity ahead of the
announcement. Equipment and software vendor Huawei has also
been closely involved, he added.
"The reality is that for companies such as Oracle, Microsoft
and IBM open source is becoming critical to them as
The move will mean changes to the way the TM Forum, which has
around 850 operators and vendors across the industry. The
organisation will need to modify the intellectual property
right (IPR) agreements with its members to cover the use of
open-source software, said Dilbeck.
But in the long term the deal will mean "a reduction in the
total cost of ownership", he added, and software "will operate
The TM Forum will start off the collaboration with "a narrow
set" of application programming interfaces (APIs), he said. The
organisation hopes to work on an initial project to be
delivered in May 2018 to meet an existing Linux Foundation
TM Forum CEO Nik Willetts said: "Open source and open standards
– including TM Forum’s open APIs and open
digital architecture – have a pivotal role to play in
transforming the agility of our industry, ensuring it is fit
for the next decade."