Deutsche Telekom joins Linux Foundation to underpin open source push

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Deutsche Telekom has become the latest operator to join the Linux Foundation, saying it will support its shift towards 5G services.

The foundation places open source technology at the heart of virtualising telecoms networks. 

Explaining the decision, Arash Ashouriha, SVP for Group Technology Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, said the shift towards the disaggregation of hardware and software to a "modular, best-in-class, flexible and open ecosystem" required collaboration.

He said: "Together with the worldwide open source community, we look forward to contributing to solve the greatest technology challenges around virtualisation, as well as evaluating the potential to incorporate open source code into our networks".

The shift will support Deutsche Telekom's existing work with O-RAN, which it co-founded at this year's Mobile World Congress.

Its aim is to make radio access technology more open and flexible.

Ashouriha added: "Joining the [Linux Foundation] now complements Deutsche Telekom’s embrace of open source software as a key technology in our architectural vision for future networks."

Deutsche Telekom will now participate in the preparation for the Foundation's next platform release, entitled Casablanca.

The addition of Deutsche Telekom to the Foundation means its membership now accounts for almost 70 percent of mobile subscribers worldwide.

Speaking at SDN/NFV World last year, Ashouriha said the "bloody difficult task" of software-based network transformation required a ruthlessness approach and new ways of attracting and training staff.