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Linux Powering Your Cell Phone Network: A Case Study

By 2011-01-068月 22nd, 2017Blog

We’ve talked a lot about the rise of Linux in embedded devices lately: from our embedded Linux training classes to the Yocto and Meego projects, to a new Linux Foundation fellow. But what about the end users, the people who are deploying Linux in their products?

We just published a Linux training case study on Optelian, a company who designs and manufacturers optical transport systems that send data across optical fiber. That means if you connect your Android phone (or iPhone or IPad or Blackberry) to a telecom carrier in North America (and if you don’t, why do own one of those devices?), you’re likely making use of Optelian’s handywork. It’s yet another example of  “Linux is everywhere.” This time it’s in your phone (in Android’s case) as well as the network that is delivering the data to those phones. Optelian migrated to Linux after using a proprietary platform for years. Why?

“It came down to two things: needing to scale and cost,” said Paul Beer, software manager at Optelian. “The amount of money our vendor wanted for the upgrade was just not right for our business. Embedded Linux has really grown as an option since the last time we looked into it.” But Optelian found other benefits. “The more we looked into it the more we realized that the drivers for the specialized devices for optical transport – like lasers – are already in Linux and supported, which really helps us. Cost is only one aspect: our chipset suppliers offer APIs for Linux already. Previously we had to do the porting for the software ourselves. This saves us time and money.”

In order to begin using Linux, Optelian needed to conduct comprehensive Linux training for its developers. After a lengthy search, they  selected Linux training from the Linux Foundation. Paul said, “They really had the best credibility out there, and they were flexible and tailored the class to what I needed for my developers.” 

Optelian is thriving as their company and its developers have fully made the transition to Linux.  You can read the entire Linux training case study if you’re interested in more detail, but I was glad to focus a little light on an actual end user in the embedded space. Also check out our Linux tutorials for free training content on embedded and other topics.

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