The Telecommunications Industry & Open Source Software

An Industry in Transformation

open source software in telecomThe telecommunication industry is transforming rapidly:  from providing voice and basic data services towards a much broader set of services with flexibility of adaptation to customer desires and market opportunities. Communications services providers (CSPs) are investing to serve the hyperconnectivity needs of evolving ecosystems of diverse applications for users and devices: increasingly mobile and interacting ever faster and in more complex ways.

What Does This Mean For Development?

CSPs are working towards offering smart and agile platforms for massively scalable hyperconnectivity:  dynamically serving up connections with explicit quality of service to multiple networks (3/4G mobile, Wi-Fi, fixed broadband.) The multiple connections can optimize network usage over the best available network, e.g. 3/4G offload to Wi-Fi. They are also increasingly serving application user experiences with simultaneous interaction with multiple devices enabled by the cloud: e.g. TV programming on big screens integrated with social networking applications on tablets; or smartphones that transparently share snapped photos and videos for viewing on big screens or tablets.

Excellent quality of experience which is securely dependable, attractively priced, and individually tailored is demanded by the hyperconnected customers. The customers vary in scale and sophistication from individual consumers, families, or enterprises of all types. As the overlap between personal and enterprise usage of devices (such as smartphones and laptops) increase, appropriate governance solutions for security, charging, and IT support are being developed. The CSP platforms need to support visibility of usage and flexibility of self-service. These functions are increasingly integrated with on-line charging and real-time billing for a wide range of flexible bundling offers.

The telecommunications industry is dealing with the increasing complexities of this transformation, within a competitive environment that creates strong pressures for agility and innovation in services while controlling costs.  Equipment vendors who supply the CSPs with products and services, especially given the global nature of their competition, face even greater and continuous pressures for cost-conscious agility and innovation to overcome the commoditization trap. At the same time, the major source of growth for the equipment vendors is in emerging markets where massive scale at low costs is a fundamental requirement.

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