Linux Foundation, DARPA collaborate on open source for 5G

The Linux Foundation has signed an agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to establish an open source project for the U.S. government.

The agreement calls for the Linux Foundation and DARPA to work together in the areas of 5G, edge, artificial intelligence, standards, programmability and IoT, among other technologies.

According to a press release, the project will launch as a standard open source project with neutral governance and a charter similar to other projects within the Linux Foundation. It’s also leveraging existing network open source projects and community efforts in the form of SDN/NFV, disaggregation and cloud native.  

"DARPA's use of open source software in the Open Programmable Secure 5G (OPS-5G) program leverages transparency, portability and open access inherent in this distribution model," said Jonathan Smith, DARPA Information Innovation Office Program Manager, in a statement. "Transparency enables advanced software tools and systems to be applied to the code base, while portability and open access will result in decoupling hardware and software ecosystems, enabling innovations by more entities across more technology areas." 

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The first project under the US GOV OPS umbrella will be the Open Programmable Secure- 5G (OPS-5G) program, currently being formed with the help of DARPA, the U.S. Navy and others.

They’ve already got an event planned with DARPA’s Smith presenting at the Open Networking and Edge Executive Forum (ONEEF), a virtual event that takes place March 10-12. The summit will feature executives across the networking and edge ecosystems sharing their visions with a global audience in the telco, cloud and enterprise arenas.

The gist of the government’s move to open source is tied to the desire to get away from the traditional proprietary technology provided by a small number of dominant vendors, including foreign suppliers.  

RELATED: Ericsson, Open RAN coalition weigh in on NTIA 5G Challenge

The DoD last year awarded contracts for 5G testbeds at military bases across the country. As part of the first tranche of the DoD’s efforts, Federated Wireless today announced it has started deployment of a Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS)-enabled private 5G wireless network for the DoD at a warehouse in Albany, Ga. That initiative also uses millimeter wave spectrum at 37.0-40.0 GHz and features a cast of U.S.-based partners.