Open Source in Telco Event - London 22/04/10

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Open Source in Telco Event - London 22/04/10

Postby markelkins » Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:26 am

Open Source in Telecommunications – London 22/04/10

The telecommunications industry has a deep and complex history, where proprietary technologies have featured heavily, the barrier to entry has typically been high and the majority of research and development led by incumbent network operators and equipment providers. More recently we are seeing this change with the growing popularity of IP telephony, the availability of open source softswitch implementations and the aggressive adoption of Linux in mobile handsets, home router/gateways and other customer-premises equipment (CPE). However, whilst the opportunities are significant, many challenges to open source adoption remain and the telecoms environment presents its own set of unique problems.

The BCS Open Source Specialist Group has joined forces with BT to bring an event that seeks to provide insights into the state of the art of open source in telecommunications. The event will consist of a series of talks followed by a panel-led, open discussion centred upon the opportunities that exist and the challenges that the telecommunications industry and open source community faces.

The event will be held at the BCS Central London Offices, First Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA ( on Thursday 22nd April, 2010, from 10.00 to 17.30.

To book a place at this event, which is free and open to all, please visit


10:00 Introduction

10:15 Why would BT care about Open Source? Jeremy Ruston (BT)

With organisations the size of the BT, you frequently hear announcements that they have partnered with a vendor or done a major deal with a service provider. Large figures are often mentioned - such as the size of a market, the number of users involved or simply the value of a contract. But what about software that is developed by communities of interest, where no vendor may be involved and no money changing hands?

In this presentation Jeremy Ruston will explain what open source means to BT and what drove them to acquire Osmosoft, a small software development company focused on producing open source, web-based collaboration technology. Reflecting on three years as BT's Head of Open Source Innovation, he will provide an insight into the evolving technology landscape at BT, and outline the key role that open source software has to play in BT's future.

10:45 Vyatta - open source, software-based enterprise-class IP routing. Ben King (Net That Works)


Why Vyatta?

Vyatta vs. Cisco - A real world comparison

Vyatta - Too big to be small, too small to be big?

Vyatta - What are the limits?

11:15 Break

11:30 But you can't get support for Open Source, can you? Mark Taylor (Sirius IT)

One of the favourite anti-Open Source myths of proprietary software companies is that Open Source is unsupported and that there's nobody to turn to for your organisations needs. Mark's talk will reveal this FUD ('Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt') as the nonsense that it is, and show exactly how organisations using Open Source, the support ecosystem, and the underlying projects themselves interact to provide a level of support for Open Source software in the enterprise that simply can't be matched by the old-school proprietary software vendors.

Using detailed case studies, anecdotes and over a decades experience on the front-lines of Open Source uptake, this talk will give you the information you need to know to confidently deploy enterprise-class Open Source in your own organisation.

12:00 Open Source in Mobile. Andrew Savory (LiMo Foundation)

The LiMo Foundation are building a mobile middleware stack based on Linux. With over 70% of the platform based on open source components, what are the benefits and challenges of open source adoption, and what is the LiMo approach to working with Open Source?

12:30 Open Source, Standards and Standardisation. Paul Downey (BT)

Building on a previous, deliberately provocative talk on "Standards are Peace as Standardization is to War"[1] and an address on Web 2.0 given to the ETSI Board[2] Paul will present a short guide for

assessing the likely impact of the culture of Open Source and lightweight agreements made on The Web on the formal Telecoms standards and standardization process.

[1] ... zation-bad


13:00 Lunch

13:45 Ensuring Mobile Internet Connectivity at T-Mobile with Nagios. Bernd Erk (Netways)

Since 2003, T-Mobile has employed open source software alongside the traditional close source products. For the last few years, NETWAYS has supported T-Mobile in the deployment and scaling of their Nagios system. Over this period, not only was the in-house company network integrated into the system, but also the international data roaming on GSM networks was established and continuously expanded. This presentation will share the development of T-Mobile's open source monitoring system to monitor its entire GSM network and data transfer (roaming) to ensure the highest availability of over 450 foreign GSM networks.

14:15 Asterisk. <TBC> (Sirius IT)


14:45 Building a GSM Network with OpenBTS. Tim Panton (Westhawk)

OpenBTS is an open-source Unix application that uses the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) to present a GSM air interface ("Um") to standard GSM handset and uses the Asterisk software PBX to connect calls. The combination of the ubiquitous GSM air interface with VoIP backhaul forms the basis of a new type of mobile network that can be deployed and operated at substantially lower cost than existing technologies in greenfields in the developing world.

In plain language, OpenBTS lets you create new kind of mobile network that can be installed and operated at about 1/10 the cost of current technologies, but that will still be compatible with most of the handsets that are already in the market. This technology can also be used in private network applications (wireless PBX, rapid deployment, etc.) at much lower cost and complexity than conventional mobile.

This talk will cover the experience and lessons learnt from a recent trial deployment on the pacific island of Niue.

15:15 Break

15:30 Thanks for buying this apartment. We'll be back in 6 months to make sure you have not redecorated it. Philip Whelan

Apple's iPhone has made a tremendous impact on the smartphone market and the public consciousness, but it has also highlighted their power to carefully control the device with draconian restrictions. These restrictions prevent users from choosing to run third-party applications unauthorised by Apple and using the devices on carriers not approved by the vendor. Phillip Whelan discusses the implications of this and the pros and cons of such a strategy.

16:00 OpenNMS and the Telemanagement Forum Standardisation Activities. Dr Craig Gallen (OpenNMS)

OpenNMS is the worlds first enterprise grade Open Source Network Management platform. Unlike other Open source Network Management tools, OpenNMS has been designed specifically with the scalability and enterprise integration requirements of large telecommunications operators in mind. It and is being used in production by a number of large service providers.

In order to continue to address the requirements of the telecommunications industry, OpenNMS has been contributing to the TM Forum Interface Program which is standardizing the next generation of OSS interfaces. One of the most innovative aspects of the program is in its use of Open Source development techniques and technologies to increase the attractiveness of the new interfaces for early adopters. Open source is being used to create the core Interface Framework artefacts, Reference Implementations, Compatibility Test Kits and an Implementation library for prospective developers.

This talk will provide an introduction to the OpenNMS project and it's contribution to industry standardisation through the TM Forum.

16:30 Panel. All speakers.

17:30 Close


Jeremy Ruston (BT)

Jeremy is the founder of Osmosoft and creator of TiddlyWiki, a popular open source wiki. He joined BT three years ago to lead its open source innovation activities, helping BT take advantage of the unique business opportunities offered by participation in open source communities.

Ben King (Net That Works & WarwickNet)

Ben King has over 10 years experience in Internet networking, he owns and runs two companies:

Net That Works: A network design and consultancy firm, that helps medium to large organisations design, optimise and maintain their layer 2 and 3 network architecture. Net That Works is Vyatta leading UK reseller and consultants.

WarwickNet: A UK tier 2 ISP that specialises in providing managed bandwidth solutions to managed service environments. WarwickNet use Vyatta for all core routing including BGP and OSPF.

Mark Taylor (Sirius IT)

Mark Taylor is a long time practitioner and advocate of Open Source in the Enterprise. As Chief Executive of Sirius, Mark's record includes most of the significant deployments of Open Source Software in the UK, including Specsavers, the National Digital Resource Bank, and Yell Adwords to name but a few. Sirius is the first and only Open Source company to be government accredited, and runs the first Government Minister launched Open Source project; The National Digital Resource Bank. Mark is a well known writer and speaker on every aspect of the Open Source phenomenon, and has acted as an advisor on Open Source to all main UK political parties.

Andrew Savory (LiMo Foundation)

Andrew Savory is the Open Source Manager for LiMo Foundation, where he works to ensure understanding of and compliance to open source principles and to facilitate contributions back to open source communities. He has over a decade of firsthand insight of working with industry leaders using and engaging with open source. Andrew has worked with open source software starting with Linux in 1994 and founding the Linux user group ALUG (Anglian Linux User Group, shortly after. He was the founder of one of the earliest open source software solutions providers in the UK, Sourcesense (, and instrumental in the creation of the Association For Free Software, a UK offshoot of the Free Software Foundation. In 2003 he was a founder of the first open source business alliance, Orixo, ( An active contributor to the open source community, Andrew is a Member of the Apache Software Foundation.

Paul Downey (BT)

Paul is a developer at Osmosoft where along with contributing to a number of Open Source projects, notably TiddlyWiki, he represents BT at the W3C. He is mildly notorious for a series of Über-doodles, known collectively as "The Web is Agreement" [1].


Bernd Erk (Netways)

Bernd Erk, Head of Operations, has overseen the Managed Services, Consulting and Development business areas at NETWAYS since 2007. Ensuring the success and smooth operation of all customer projects and business processes, Bernd's technical expertise stretches across Systems Management, Managed Services and Software Development. A contributor to Linux Magazine and Linux Technical Review in Germany, Bernd regularly publishes articles and presents on open source topics ranging across Nagios monitoring, XEN virtualization, MySQL database monitoring and performance tuning among others. Bernd was previously Operating Systems Specialist at Quelle Schickedanz AG & Co., where he worked heavily with Solaris, HPUX and Oracle databases. After which, Bernd spent 8 years as Business Unit Manager at Ise-Informatik where he dealt with Oracle databases and service oriented architectures.

Tim Panton (Westhawk)

Tim Panton has been a software developer for more than 25 years, working on a diverse range of projects, from chemical plant simulation to tourism web sites. He is also a contributor to open source projects, in particular GJTAPI a framework for implementing JTAPI (The Java Telephony

API) and Westhawk's Java SNMP stack. In recent years Tim has been predominantly involved in Asterisk development and implementation, working closely with key industry players he has been championing innovative integration of voice technologies.

Philip Whelan


Dr Craig Gallen (OpenNMS)

Dr Craig Gallen MIET, C. Eng, has worked as an engineer in Broadcasting, Process Control and Network Management. Latterly he worked as a senior product manager with Nortel Networks before leaving to pursue his doctoral studies in open source operational support systems at the

University of Southampton. He currently works as an OSS software consultant and as a committer to the OpenNMS project. He is the leader of the TM Forum Interface Program Open Source Project hosted at :)
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