TM Forum to back open-source partnership with Linux Foundation

TM Forum to back open-source partnership with Linux Foundation

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 well.”

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 more seamlessly”.

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 schedule.

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.”

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