Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The day open source saved the carriers

I was certain of the future of open source in mobile, so much that I bet my career on it, despite many saying it would never happen. The last place to conquer in mobile was wireless and we did it.

We did it, despite the carriers saying it would never happen. It took a lot of sweat but, eventually, they embraced it. What is happening on Android is amazing, to say the least. Open source is becoming the backbone of the mobile carriers on the server side as well. It just happened.

One thing I would have never imagined was that open source would actually save the carriers business. At least not the current one. I thought it would change the way they would do business, and eventually allow them to make even more money. But I was convinced it would take a long time.

Instead, today open source saved the carriers. The FCC decided to not impose the net-neutrality rules on the mobile operators, focusing only on the wired world. The reason: open source.

From this article, here you have an excerpt of the press release:

Further, we recognize that there have been meaningful recent moves toward openness, including the introduction of open operating systems like Android. In addition, we anticipate soon seeing the effects on the market of the openness conditions we imposed on mobile providers that operate on upper 700 MHz C-Block spectrum, which includes Verizon Wireless, one of the largest mobile wireless carriers in the U.S.

In light of these considerations, we conclude it is appropriate to take measured steps at this time to protect the openness of the Internet when accessed through mobile broadband.

See, they did not touch the mobile carriers because of "open operating systems" like Android. There is no equivalent in the desktop world, where Windows has 92% of market share and Mac 5% (and there are no signs of a quick change in the future).

I was expecting everything, but not that mobile open source would save the carriers. The unthinkable happen. You are welcome: this what you get for telling me that it would never happen ;-)