ITU Blog: What will the rise of open source mean for standardization and 5G?

Open-source software makes its source code free for all to use, alter and share, giving a community of developers the freedom to extend software’s functionality and applicability. Industry players developing proprietary software were among the first to feel the disruption from open-source developments, but with the emergence of network ‘softwarization’ – demonstrated by the growing availability of general-purpose ‘white-box’ hardware – the networking business is now grappling with whether the relationship of open-source and proprietary developments will be one of coexistence or contradiction.

Open-source projects put more minds to the task of solving technical challenges and expanding access to technical capabilities. The community model of open-source development is extraordinarily agile, identifying and responding to user needs far more rapidly than the traditional standards world.

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