Deutsche Telekom signs up as platinum member of Linux Foundation Networking

Deutsche Telekom has doubled down on its commitment to using open source by signing up as a platinum member of Linux Foundation Networking.

Earlier this year, the Linux Foundation put some of its open source communities, including the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), under the Linux Foundation Networking (LFN) brand in order to foster cross-project collaboration. Mainly thanks to ONAP, the LNF projects currently enable close to 70% of all the world's global mobile subscribers. 

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Deutsche Telekom isn't new to open source initiatives. In January, Klaus Martiny, senior program manager at Deutsche Telekom, was named as the first chair of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute's (ETSI) Zero touch network and Service Management Industry Specification Group (ZSM ISG.)

The provider is a vocal proponent of Facebook's Telecom Infra Project (TIP), which is co-chaired by Facebook and Deutsche Telekom. TIP's goal is to create a more decentralized approach to building and deploying infrastructure for telecom networks.

Deutsche Telekom is also a member of the Open Networking Foundation, which conducted a PON field trial earlier this year with ONAP, and one of the founding members of the O-RAN Alliance.

Garnering Deutsche Telekom as new member of ONAP will throw some additional weight behind ONAP's goal of creating a standardized orchestration and automation platform for the telecom industry. Deutsche Telekom plans on contributing to ONAP's next software release, which is called Casablanca.

"Providing a standard platform for network automation and increased interoperability through the ONAP project is an area we’re especially keen on contributing to in support of our 5G activities," said Deutsche Telekom's Arash Ashouriha, senior vice president, technology architecture and innovation, in a prepared statement. "The work in ONAP will complement our activities in ETSI-ZSM to lead the industry towards a fully automated network and service management.

"This will be a critical success factor for our companies to leverage the full benefits of 5G. We see great value in the global collaboration LFN provides for accelerating that process, for both our businesses and customers.”

In a blog post, Ashouriha said Deutsche Telekom would combine its work across ONAP and ETSI-ZSM to fully automate networks and service management.

"One thing is very clear to me: Intelligent and automated networks will be the critical success factor to leverage the full benefits of 5G, for our customers, both consumers and verticals. And we believe in joining forces with partners in the industry to bring in innovation and accelerate the path to this shared future," he wrote in the blog.

As a platinum member, Deutsche Telekom now has a voting seat on the LFN governing board. The annual cost to be a platinum member of LNF is $250,000 with a two-year commitment. The Germany-based telco operator also joined the Linux Foundation at the silver level.

Aside of ONAP, other open source communities that are hosted by LNF include, OpenDaylight, OPNFV,, Tungsten Fabric and PNDA.

ZSM ISG had more than 40 members when it was announced in January. LNF currently has over 100 members.