developer working in open-source operating system IOWRT

Effective software management with IOWRT, an open-source operating system for Service Providers

Managing different residential gateways and router software is common practice for providers offering broadband services for connected homes. But multiple software is challenging to upgrade. These days, service providers are adopting open-source operating systems more often, allowing them to manage software more efficiently and provide a consistent consumer experience.

Become proactive with an open-source operating system

Making an active choice to separate software from hardware offers many benefits for service providers and is an opportunity to deploy an open-source operating system. One of the main benefits is avoiding vendor lock-in and having more flexible software management.

In conversation with Johan Fredriksson, a Senior Business Leader with over 20 years of experience in software solutions, he says,

“To develop the software operating system themselves is a large undertaking for a service provider. You need to have one version of the software you run in production, one version for the end of life, and one version that you will gradually move into production, so you will have 3-4 sets of teams working to maintain only this layer. This component becomes much bigger than expected and doesn’t have an immediate market value or benefit of owning it. This is where the open-source operating system can make a difference for the service provider’s bottom line.”

IOWRT is an open-source operating system developed by IOPSYS and is built on technology from the OpenWrt* community. Instead of managing several software versions, IOWRT allows you to develop your own unified software layer across different gateways and routers. As a result, service providers can offer a wide variety of easy-to-install broadband services at home. Unified software is also less complicated for customer support and helps provide a better experience when consumers interact with them.

Explaining unified software layer with IOWRT

Benefits of an open-source operating system, IOWRT

IOWRT is open, standardized and scalable and offers many benefits, including:

  1. Opens the doors for 3rd party applications: Because IOWRT is open source, it is easier for 3rd party vendors to integrate. Service providers become hosts, enabling add-on applications.
  2. Secure access to the home network: IOWRT is security-hardened and enables regular security updates and maintenance.
  3. Faster service deployment: With fewer software platforms to maintain, integration and testing are simpler, impacting time to market.
  4. Increased ARPU from value-added services: New value-added services are seamless with a single software layer. This can generate potential new revenue streams.
  5. Facilitates transition from triple-play to multi-play services: With 3rd party applications, service providers can offer services similar to the “App Store” concept on top of traditional broadband services.
  6. Flexible sourcing: Since there is no vendor lock-in for the hardware, there are more options to source.
  7. Lower upgrade costs: Fewer software platforms mean fewer upgrade release plans, testing and execution.
  8. Supports life cycle management: Extending hardware lifecycles and provisioning new functionality is easier.
  9. More sustainable products: Prolonging product lifecycles helps decrease energy and resources in continuously developing new hardware.
  10. Better and cost-efficient support: Customer service and tech support can focus on in-depth knowledge of one software instead of several.
  11. More efficient use of resources: Developers can work on new services to enhance customer offerings and experience instead of troubleshooting, updates and patches.
  12. Attractive when recruiting developers: The open-source code, culture and community can inspire potential developers to your company.

With the support of IOPSYS, service providers can decide the level of IOWRT integration. The number of service providers and chipset suppliers deploying gateways with IOWRT is steadily increasing and currently amounts to more than 25 across various markets. The total number of residential gateways running IOWRT is approximately one million.
A recent example is UK service provider EE, which deployed IOWRT on its own operating system for its new home broadband hardware, including advanced Wi-Fi routers and extenders for all home and work coverage.

“We work with IOPSYS to ensure that their software IOWRT supports our and Networking Pro platforms. We know that service providers need a full open-source operating system that gives them the flexibility to manage all their devices, regardless of the Wi-Fi generation. This is why we are committed to our support for an open-source ecosystem,” explains Patrick Ribardiere, senior director, product marketing, at Qualcomm France.

Learn more about how IOWRT works.

*OpenWrt is a trademark owned by Software in the Public Interest, Inc.

Guide for CSPs: why separating software from hardware can generate more business value

This guide is intended for CSPs in the digital home market, offering consumers Wi-Fi routers, residential gateways, and extenders as part of their broadband services. It provides the rationale for why separating software (SW) from hardware (HW) can positively impact CSPs’ business and outlines the key benefits of decoupling SW and HW.


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