Open source cooperation key for 5G development, claims NGMN

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Open source technology will play a critical role in the development of 5G standards and technology, the NGMN has claimed.

The network operator alliance held a one day event in San Diego to discuss the technical and legal challenges relating to open source technology and telco networks.

It concluded that open source technology will be used in the development of 5G standards, adding that the convergence of open source technology and standards was good for interoperability and the virtualisation of network functionalities.

Operators warned that the telecoms industry should not look to open source and standardised technology as siloed from one another. Instead it should look to weave both types of technology together to create opportunities for both.

Luigi Licciardi, Board Director of NGMN and Chair of the NGMN IPR Forum, said:  “For the first time, the workshop has enabled us to jointly engage with internationally renowned experts and panelists, exchange views and experiences and identify possible solutions to key issues affecting the industry in 5G. We have now an agreed starting point to further develop our cooperation with the clear intent to benefit business and end-users in the context of 5G.”

Peter Meissner, CEO of NGMN, said it would seek to explore the potential of open source technology at its forthcoming industry conference in Frankfurt in October.

European-based operators have been under scrutiny from some vendors about whether they are developing 5G technologies as quickly as those in America and South East Asia.

However, at Mobile World Congress in March, NGMN Chair and Deutsche Telekom CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn dismissed suggestions from Ericsson CTO Ulf Ewaldsson that he was pessimistic about Europe's ability to set the agenda.

He said: "It's important our customers have the use cases that are necessary.

"A community should be able to build the toolbox and then each market then thinks about the right time to invest. I'm more relaxed."