AT&T wants to be the Linus Torvalds of network software

AT&T wants to be the Linus Torvalds of network software

Carriers are starting to look more like cloud companies, turning to standard hardware, virtualization and machine learning for rapid development of new services.

AT&T helped drive that trend on Wednesday by releasing ECOMP, the operating system of its software-defined network, as open source through the Linux Foundation. Like Linux, ECOMP will become a codebase that many different companies and developers – potentially even AT&T’s rivals – collectively create and define into the future.

AT&T is evolving from a traditional carrier with a limited menu of services to an agile service provider that can quickly adapt to customer’s needs and constantly tune its own systems for reliability and performance. Its virtualized, software-defined network, among the first of its kind at a telecommunications carrier, is the engine driving that change. The big data that the company collects about the use of its network helps it to improve the network and add features, AT&T says.

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