The locus of innovation has moved in the course of the last century from the individual to teams in the laboratory to open, increasingly global, networks. Innovation today is not about what you make; it is not about how you make it; it is about who makes it. Embracing open source code at local level is key to stimulating innovation in the telecommunications ecosystem.

  • Bringing innovation to global markets calls for a balance between developing collaborative standards and speed. Standardization processes must change:
    • Need to include vertical markets and collaborate on standards as ICT is increasingly embedded in all sectors, and convergence accelerates.
    • Cooperate rather than compete across proliferation of parallel standards consortia and associations.
    • Reduce competing, duplicative specifications to drive the trend towards common architectures enabling the convergence of fixed and mobile networks.
  • Long-term project to ensure a paradigm shift to culture of collaboration in standardization based on mutual respect among organizations as to capabilities and contributions. Establish mechanisms to ensure consensus; consider differing normative frameworks in developing markets; bring standardization closer to speed of market.
  • Embracing open source innovation offers time to market better synchronized with today’s requirements and business advantages whose impact cannot be ignored:
    • It allows local customization and local benefits (including jobs) in a globalized economy.
    • Making technology available to all shares knowledge and drives innovation to scale in operating systems, devices and applications – particularly important in bringing broadband to rural and remote environments.
    • Lower cost of innovation due to economies of scale, flexibility, lack of software licence fee, time to market, ease of market trials.
    • Open source code is visible, so it is secure, can be audited and assessed for quality of service.
    • Software defined networks enable open source development to flow, particularly in the customer and business spaces which drive the value of the network – and where most innovation is already open source.
    • Open source will win in terms of numbers involved, scale and cost – there is no turning back the clock or retaining the status quo, so embrace it and adapt.
  • Developers and engineers in emerging markets rely on open source to bridge the gap and create own tools and applications at local level. Open standards based on respect for autonomy, transparency, integrity and intellectual property rules can ensure global interoperability and bring new products to market quickly.
  • Open source offers quicker interface to application layer of network, open abstractions enabling programmability, multiple and fast development, sustainability.