> Who cares if Portaone gives the source code or not
I think most of the users do care if they get from the vendor a compiled code with no ability to change anything – or they have access to the source code.
> why wouldn’t they download the code itself from the web
I am not sure you realize what you are talking about. Do you really think some small company with one or two developers can download Perl, Apache, MySQL, SER, … and make a VoIP softswitch/billing platform out of it? And how many years do you think it would take them?
>Also is it true that Portaone uses Vovida.org B2BUA
Yes it is true. PortaOne made a working solution based on Vovida B2BUA, spent significant amount of time on troubleshooting and improving it. Also, there is new a B2BUA available, developed completely from the scratch, which eliminates many of the Vovida problems/limitations.
About the open source software in general – you’re absolutely right, the open-source itself is not that useful if there is no good development team and support behind it. This is exactly what you are paying for when getting PortaSwitch: for the development and support, so instead of downloading a bunch of free my-open-source-project-0.01.tgz and trying to make then work, you get a working and tested solution.