5G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas, has published The Status of Open Source for 5G, a white paper providing an overview of the 5G architecture, and its open source principles defined by 3GPP Release 15. The white paper covers

  • Open Source Model
    • Provides different license types and governance models.
    • Compares similarities and differences between the standards and open source models.
  • 5G Architecture
    • Gives a high-level overview of the 5G system architecture per 3GPP Release 15.
  • Open Source Applicability in 5G
    • Discusses the opportunities in open sourcing key areas of the 5G system architectures and network infrastructure.
    • References existing open source efforts in the respective areas.

This paper serves as a call to action for the 5G community of operators, solution providers and developers to participate in the existing open source efforts applicable to 5G, or initiate new ones in areas such as infrastructure and management and control, where the 5G ecosystem will likely benefit the most. Community involvement is important to help achieve critical backing to avoid one-off solutions.

The Status of Open Source for 5G white paper was written by co-leaders Lyle Bertz from Sprint and Bejoy Pankajakshan of Mavenir, as well as representatives from member companies on 5G Americas’ board who participated in the development. The white paper is available to download from the association's website.

“Different operators have different strategic technical plans for the evolution of their networks to 5G. Each operator environment is unique, and there is no single open source effort that caters to the needs of all operators,” said Lyle Bertz, director of the Core & Services, Technology Innovation & Architecture at Sprint and a co-leader of the white paper working group. “5G system architecture gives mobile operators much more openness than ever before, and operators and OEMs can leverage open source principles to benefit competitively in the marketplace.”

“Mobile operators worldwide are pioneering both 5G and open source technologies by leading the standards organizations and community-driven projects. Mobile operators have begun deploying the solutions produced by various projects to demonstrate the benefits of Open Source for 5G.” — Chris Pearson, president of 5G Americas