An exciting development to create 5G open-source stack solutions is coming from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Linux Foundation. The project will focus on developing open-source technology for use within the United States government and will use secure 5G network software and applications. This includes the OPS-5G project from the US GOV OPS, which is using a software stack for 5G, edge computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). OPS stands for “Open Programmable, Secure” and will assist in defining and testing end-to-end 5G stack. Many components from the Linux Foundation’s previous projects will be used including the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, LF Edge, LF Networking, and the Zephyr Project. “The project formation encourages ecosystem players to support U.S. government initiatives to create the latest in technology software,” said the organizations.
Open-source applications continue to find themselves in the middle of 5G developments. Some of the main reasons are the same ones that can explain why we see open-source popping up yet again for DARPA and the Linux Foundation’s collaboration here. Using open-source in 5G provides a more inclusive ecosystem which ultimately provides a path for cheaper solutions that are developed sooner. Because of the wide variety of projects that the Linux Foundation already have experience working on, Mike Woster, the Linux Foundation’s Head of Ecosystems, believes that borrowing from the past and working to build new solutions for the future will allow the organizations to achieve a “full, 5G end-to-end 5G reference architecture.”
The entirety of open-source can at times become lost in thinking that networks are using open-source software and calling it a day. This is not true and though 5G networks depend on sophisticated coding to help them support the tremendous speeds they bring to wireless, there is more at play than a few companies sharing software. “It’s more than just code. Open-source development and open development (are) really around having a neutral governance framework; open, transparent development processes; that it’s secure, that the intellectual property is properly managed, and that the velocity for developers…all of that matches the needs of the developers.”
Transparency and government programs may not always go hand-in-hand, but in its endeavors for a faster wireless network, being more transparent is helping DARPA and other government agencies advance their wireless capabilities with 5G connections. 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. 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,” said Dr. Jonathan Smith, Program Manager for DARPA.
This is far from the first and almost certainly sure not to be the last project to come from the armed forces regarding 5G. The NITA and DoD recently began working on an open 5G stack ecosystem, a 5G testbed is underway in Georgia for Marines, and even leading military industrialists Lockheed Martin continue to push for ways to implement 5G within America’s different branches of the armed forces.
Source: RCR Wireless