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Wireless Utopia

The journey towards a free wireless world.

New Frontiers

Friday, February 24, 2006

Somebody will be mighty worried at this bit of news. The cash cows of major Telecom vendors, which reads like a who's who in the wired world, is being threatened by Open Source Software now. An excerpt.

"Vyatta is one of the many start-ups that are bringing open source disruption to the highly profitable and closed world of networking. While open source software movement has ravaged the bottom lines of companies like Sun Microsystems; networking behemoths like Cisco and Juniper have continued to enjoy fat margins they earned even before the telecom crash of 2000."

Objectively speaking, its not going to be an immediate threat to anyone. Every company has its own base of customers who would not switch camps just because its now available for free. And in this particular universe, once you start using one product, you're hitched to the product line eventually. What it does do, is that it gives options. And in a way that is commendable in itself, given the high entry barrier. The networking world needs such kind of competition.

But undoubedly there is a large market for such kind of products; given the lack of interoperatiblity between vendors, security concerns and the high expense. Even though there have been attempts to agree to a specific standard, in the end each vendor adds some extra features to thier box to make it stand out. Over a period of time they evolve and become different animals altogther. An open platform, with products available on it for free, will only be beneficial for the industry. A good starting point at least.

The point of concern on the other hand would be thier dependability. OSS still has to prove itself in the corporate environment before anyone takes it seriously. Large corporations have not really embraced OSS in a big way. Another question mark would be on the sustainability companies who provide such OSS products. The OSS Revenue Model is yet to be proven and companies have known to go down.

More interestingly though, if the wired caslte has been breached, is the wireless frontier far away?

PS: Previous posts on OSS. OSS Cryastal Gazing. Sex Appeal of Open Source.
Update: Aswath points out to its VoIP implications.
posted by Rajiv, 12:52 AM

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