- AT&T said it plans to move away from its own proprietary operating system to an open-source operating system from Cannonical Ltd.
- The company said it will use the Ubuntu operating system in networking, cloud and enterprise applications.
- Use of open-source technology will “allow AT&T to create new services of its own as well as attract software developers who want to work with modern technology,” the company said.
"The idea is to put more of AT&T’s telecommunications workload in the cloud, which can be faster and less expensive than traditional systems," said John Zannos, Canonical’s vice president of cloud alliances and business development, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
On Wednesday, AT&T and Cannonical said they will build Ubuntu applications "across AT&T’s internal and external systems in a broad implementation." The two companies are also "discussing how to use Ubuntu in areas such as Web services, mobile application development and data analytics," said Zannos.
Akshay Sharma, a research director for network infrastructure at Gartner Inc., said older companies must transition to open-source technology to keep pace with younger competitors or risk getting left behind.
“Internet companies that have built operations from scratch using OpenStack tools like Ubuntu are creating new mobile and Web services for consumers that traditional companies can’t easily match,” said Sharma. “The real competition for AT&T is not other carriers but companies like Google, Facebook and Apple.”