Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

Facebook launches platform for telcos to develop network infrastructure

Facebook and Telecom Infra Project members Intel and Nokia have pledged to contribute an initial suite of reference designs

New Delhi: Facebook Inc. on Monday introduced a platform for telecom operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators and technology companies to collaborate on the development of new technologies related to telecom network infrastructure.

“Today we announced the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), an engineering-focused initiative that is bringing operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators, and other technology companies together to collaborate on the development of new technologies and reimagine traditional approaches to building and deploying telecom network infrastructure," Jay parikh, global head of engineering and infrastructure said in a blog post. “For Facebook, TIP is a new investment that ties into our other connectivity efforts already under way through Internet.org."

Parikh said there is a mismatch between the pace at which people and devices are coming online and the speed at which telecom infrastructure is scaling up globally.

“Scaling traditional telecom infrastructure to meet this global data challenge is not moving as fast as people need it to. We know there isn’t a single solution for this, and no one company can tackle the problem alone," he said. “Driving a faster pace of innovation in telecom infrastructure is necessary to meet these new technology challenges and to unlock new opportunities for everyone in the ecosystem."

To begin with, Facebook along with TIP members Intel Corp and Nokia Oyj have pledged to contribute an initial suite of reference designs, while other members such as operators Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom will help define and deploy the technology as it fits their needs.

TIP members will work together to contribute designs in three areas—access, backhaul, and core and management, Parikh said.

“In what is a traditionally closed system, component pieces will be unbundled, affording operators more flexibility in building networks. This will result in significant gains in cost and operational efficiency for both rural and urban deployments," he said.

TIP members will work together to accelerate the development of technologies like 5G that will pave the way for better connectivity and richer services.

With the initiative, the Menlo Park, California-based company aims to enable operators and the broader telecom industry to be more flexible, innovative, and efficient is important for expanding connectivity.

Parikh’s blog dated 21 February was updated on Monday.

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