Sophia Antipolis, 24 November 2015

At the ETSI summit on Open Source and Standardization, which took place in Sophia Antipolis on 19 November, Mr. Luis Jorge Romero, ETSI Director General, introduced the event with these words:"" 

Clichés tend to perceive the world of standards as the middle aged black tie conservative people in competition with young hacker-like free spirit open source developers. Well, those times are long gone.

The summit brought together members of the Open Source community along with standardization bodies who exchanged refreshing and stimulating ideas about the interaction between two communities who are already working together but need to do more. W3C, IETF, ECMA, Open Forum Europe (OFE), OASIS, Open Grid Forum (OGF), Open Networking Forum (ONF) or European Broadcasting Union (EBU) were among the speakers of the day.

The afternoon panel led to a discussion with the audience and included ULE Alliance, Java Community Process (JCP), Open Air Interface (OAI), Open Software Alliance (OSA), Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), the ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group, the oneM2M partnership project, of which ETSI is a founding member, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits.

Speakers at the event recognized that Open Source software and standards were not competitive but complementary. Open Source can bring innovation, fast development and the involvement of a committed global community and many companies have found a solid business case to develop and use Open Source software. On the other hand, according to the speakers, standards bring long-term stability, wide consensus and a cohesive view of large and complex systems, together with ensuring interoperability, confidence in products and services and offering economies of scale.

Today, as virtualization and cloud technology are shaping the next generation of network systems, it is increasingly necessary to work with Open Source software. Open Source can be used to develop reference implementations for evaluating specifications and for testing interoperability. In ETSI, the Centre for Testing and Interoperability uses a state of the art open source tool chain to assist in the development of base standards and test standards. Many Open Source projects have been set up to develop implementations of ETSI specifications. Software development techniques are increasingly being used in the standards community and in some standards.

Understanding Open Source licensing is important when working with Open Source software and ETSI will organize more focused workshops on this and other open source topics in the year to come.

If you couldn’t attend our summit and want to know more, go to the presentations, freely available on our website.

About ETSI
ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, aeronautical, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Union as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is an independent, not-for-profit association whose more than 800 member companies and organizations, drawn from 64 countries, determine its work programme and participate directly in its work.

Claire Boyer
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