The telecom industry started examining the potential of open source for application in telco network deployments in the early 2000s, giving birth to an era of openness and a quest to simplify network technology and operations. Contrary to the established way of evolving network technology, open source requires much higher levels of collaboration, openness, and community efforts.
Currently, the market is in the early development phase and needs years of development and standardization efforts, but it is expected to enter the growth phase by the end of 2018 due to the popularity of open source projects and the emergence of a few projects that are now widely accepted as the industry standard, including ONAP and OpenStack.
Initially, this growth will be driven by Tier One operators and vendors, but increasing participation of new entrants in open source projects clearly indicate that open source has the potential to reduce vendor lock-in and dependence on hardware. Several telcos including AT&T, Verizon, China Mobile, and Vodafone are now aiming to use open source software to create new services faster and turn their legacy-bound networks into an agile, automated platform that will help create new business opportunities. The report discusses key opportunities, major open source projects, impact of open source concept on telecom value chain (telcos and vendor businesses), and key forecast for open source in telco cloud market.