Any plan to fork OpenBTS and/or merge with Osmocom code?

Harald Welte laforge at
Sun Apr 10 08:35:53 UTC 2011

Hi again.

On Sat, Apr 09, 2011 at 10:03:09PM +0200, Fabio Pietrosanti (naif) wrote:

> > On Sat, Apr 09, 2011 at 08:37:20AM +0200, Fabio Pietrosanti (naif) wrote:
> > 
> >> this email don't want to be a provocative email but just an opinion
> >> related to the creation of value for GSM TLC stack into the opensource
> >> environment.
> > 
> > Sorry, what is TLC?
> I refer to TLC as "Telecommunication" that's the environment and
> industry segment where our so "friendly" mobile industry players apply
> patent and NDA everywhere to restrict access to the technology.
> >> Additionally, if i understood correctly osmocom is much more advanced
> >> with broad scope and better design than OpenBTS.
> > 
> > I think it is unfair.  There are many design decisions, and I don't think
> > you can say something is better or worse.  It depends on your purpose.  Do
> > you want a sports car or a truck?  Depends on your application which one
> > is better...
> Absolutely agree, that OpenBTS had very appreciable short term practical
> goals, such as hooking a GSM phone to Asterisk.

it's not just a short-term goal, see David's response ;)

> While Osmocom had very long term goals, like making a overall set of
> technologies and libraries usable to build a complete gsm systems, from
> bsc to baseband, to network analyzer, to ggsn/sgsn, msc, hlr.

Making a GSM network that can integrate with an IMS core network without
any of the usual components (bsc, sgsn, ...) is not a long-term goal?

> So imho current status of OpenBTS is near to stalled, without strong
> opensource improvements.

> While the current status of Osmocom is growing fast, differentiating
> itself in various projects, doing important refactoring to create a
> solid technology stack reusable for most projects.

well, I would be careful regarding the 'solid' part.  Large parts are
'proof of concept' or 'alpha' status at this time.  The BSC is very stable,
but if you look at the SGSN or the core network parts, it's entirely different

> So most of the community investments sounds to be directed to Osmocom.

Well, there is a community,  but it is a small community, isn't it?  Basically
Holger and myself on the BSC and core network side, and Sylvain and Andreas
doing the majority of the work on the telephone side.  Pablo is sort of an
exceptional case, as he is doing paid work for me to do his cleanups and
improvements.  Vance has generously donated his signerl code, for which I'm
grateful, but it was written a long time ago and never really 100% finished, so
we still have to do a lot of work finishing and integrating it with our other

The truth is, I don't think there are significantly more people working on
Osmocom projects than on OpenBTS.  Also, the comparison is odd, as you would
probably have to count only the network side projects (BSC, SGSN, ...) on
the Osmocom side.

> Osmocom now it's missing a complete free hardware/software BTS (for
> example based on USRP devices).
> Given it's fast growing community we can forecast in the near future the
> need to support also the GSMum on USRP devices?

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