Hewlett-Packard took a major step Monday in trying to convince telecommunications companies to embrace Linux, releasing a software kit to let those companies develop phone software that runs on Linux servers. The Linux version of HP's popular Opencall SS7 product isn't yet finished, but a software-development kit, along with new telecommunications-specificlets customers get started testing their software, said Martin Fink, general manager of HP's Linux Systems Operation.
SS7, or Signaling System 7, handles tasks such as translating a toll-free 800 number that a person has dialed into a company's actual phone number and billing that company for the call. HP argues that Linux, a clone of Unix, is a cheaper alternative than the current Unix systems that prevail in SS7 jobs and that use more expensive hardware than the Intel-based servers HP now advocates. Opencall SS7 is used in more than 1,600 operations worldwide.