About sysmocom background and company culture

Free and Open Source Software

sysmocom was founded by two veterans of the Free / Open Source Software (FOSS) community. As such, from senior management down to every engineer we truly understand FOSS; it is where we come from, and not a new concept that we adopt for marketing reasons.

sysmocom and Osmocom

The Osmocom project is a non-for-profit, community-driven project creating various FOSS projects related to mobile communications. The most popular/well-known Osmocom project is OpenBSC.

Both OpenBSC and Osmocom were founded by Harald Welte, who subsequenty funded sysmocom as a commercial company providing products, support and services not only related to Osmocom projects.

We are proud to keep a strict separation between the Osmocom community project and the sysmocom commercial venture. Despite sysmocom funding Osmocom in various ways (server hosting, developer conferences, code contributions) there are no advertisements related to sysmocom on the community web pages. We understand FOSS and we are not abusing it for marketing.

We work upstream

sysmocom works upstream. We do not have internal forks/branches of the various FOSS programs we use. Rather, we work directly in the various upstream projects, such as OpenBSC, OsmoBTS, OsmoPCU and many others. This means that

  • our bugfixes are immediately committed/contributed upstream
  • FOSS that you receive from sysmocom is not different from the source code you can see in the public / upstream repositories.
  • you can rebuild (modified or unmodified) upstream source code and use it on or with sysmocom products.

No Open Core

Contrary to other companies, we do not believe in an "Open Core" business model, where a feature-crippled or outdated version of the software is made available as a teaser only to lure customers into obtaining a paid license for a proprietary (sometimes called "commercial") version of the software.

No Dual Licensing

We believe in strong copyleft licenses and the collaborative development model that they require. We thus use the GNU Affero General Public License because we believe in it, and not because we see it as a tool to sell expensive proprietary alternative licenses to the software.

Ethical Code of Conduct

Companies with detailed knowledge on the low-level operations of mobile communications technologies often are approached by entities who do not primarily want to enable people to communicate.

sysmocom was founded to enable, innovate and advance mobile communications, not to intercept it or to put surveillance on people.

While we do engage in research of mobile communications and mobile communications security, we will not actively work on creating any kind of products for surveillance, signal intelligence, interception, etc. Any requests in this direction will be declined.

History

  • March 2011: Harald Welte and Holger Freyther established sysmocom as a private limited corporation in Berlin, Germany
  • May 2012: sysmocom announces availability of its first BTS product, sysmoBTS 1002
  • November 2013: sysmocom announces availability of the sysmoBTS 2050
  • February 2014: sysmocom team is growing further by hiring new engineers
  • April 2014: sysmocom moves into new office at Alt-Moabit 93, Berlin
  • January 2016: sysmocom team size reaches 10