Camara: The Linux Foundation telco API project

The Linux Foundation has made note of its Camara (stylised as CAMARA officially) project now having graduated to a funded model.

The news was shared onsite during the opening keynote at Open Source Summit Europe, held in Bilbao this week in the Basque region of Spain.

The project is an open source community that works to address telco industry API interoperability.

Initiated in 2021 by a small number of telco operators, vendors and hyperscalers, Camara launched in February 2022 with 22 initial partners; it has since grown to over 250 participating organizations with over 750 contributors.

To help sustain rapid growth and ensure a tighter structure with more resources, the community has moved the project to the next phase and introduced a fully-funded model.

The funded model will introduce a Governing Board, Technical Steering Committee, and End User Council to manage collaboration at scale.

“A true testament to the power of open source and what collaborative work can achieve, the Camara community is making APIs both more accessible and more easily monetised,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager for networking, edge and IoT at the Linux Foundation. “Camara’s work across the industry to enable developers to more quickly and easily develop and deliver APIs for operators and cloud providers is just the beginning. The new funded model will ensure even more impactful collaboration across the board.”

Camara offers new opportunities for collaboration between telecoms, GSMA, TMForum and other industries providing cloud-based services by developing an open, global, accessible API technology base.

The Linux Foundation insists that the benefit for customers and developer ecosystems comes in the form of consistent and user-friendly access to network capabilities, thus enabling developers to seamlessly deploy applications to run consistently across telco networks and countries. This is said to help prevent fragmentation and empower faster, more versatile advancement of global application portability and industry adoption of new features and capabilities.

“Camara is partnering with the whole industry to provide the right telco APIs to meet the demands of our enterprise and developer users. For that, the funded model will help us to improve tooling and services, and to enable shorter delivery cycles for the APIs,” said Herbert Damker, technical steering committee chair, in the new Camara structure. “Camara is making it easy and simple for the global developer community to create new, connected solutions based on our advanced network capabilities. The collaboration between network operators, cloud providers, application developers and technology vendors in Camara has been crucial to this success. As a founding member of Camara we are proud of its impact since launch and thrilled to enter into the next phase of collaboration to empower developers.”

In addition to its broad portfolio of participating organizations, the Camara fund is composed of 10 premium sponsors, (including Accenture, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, Orange, Telefonica, Verizon, Vodafone, T-Mobile) and 5 General sponsors (including CableLabs, Centillion, Charter Communications, Scenera, Shabodi).

Collaboration with GSMA

Camara works closely with the GSMA’s Operator Platform initiative, which is working to define a federated platform for exposing operator network capabilities to external applications. This partnership ensures that developers relying on the Camara project’s API solution and abstraction will facilitate users across operator networks.

Earlier this year, CAMARA partnered with the GSMA, TMForum and LF Networking to publish a white paper, “The Ecosystem for Open Gateway NaaS API Development.”

The paper outlines collaborative concepts of Open Gateway (a framework of common network APIs designed to provide universal access to operator networks for developers, helps application developers enhance and deploy services more quickly across operator networks via single points of access to the world’s largest connectivity platform) Network as a Service (NaaS) architecture.

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