Facebook launches Telecom Infra Project to meet global data challenge


New York, Feb 24 (IANS) In an effort to restructure traditional approaches and deploy telecom network infrastructure to meet growing internet demands, Facebook has launched Telecom Infra Project (TIP) for developing new technologies.

The project is an engineering-focused initiative that is bringing operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators and other technology companies together, the company said in a post on Wednesday.

“Every day, more people and more devices around the world are coming online, and it’s becoming easier to share data-intensive experiences like video and virtual reality. Scaling traditional telecom infrastructure to meet this global data challenge is not moving as fast as people need it to,” wrote Jay Parikh, global head of engineering and infrastructure at Facebook.

“We know there isn’t a single solution for this, and no one company can tackle the problem alone. 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,” Parikh said.

To kick-start this work, TIP members such as Facebook, Intel, and Nokia 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 – applying the Open Compute Project models of openness and disaggregation as methods of spurring innovation.

“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,” Parikh further wrote.

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

Facebook, in collaboration with Globe, recently launched a pilot deployment based on TIP principles to connect a small village in the Philippines that previously did not have cellular coverage.

“Testing new technologies and approaches and sharing what we learn with the rest of the industry will enable operators to adopt new models with full confidence that they will be sustainable,” said the social media giant.

Working to enable operators and the broader telecom industry to be more flexible, innovative, and efficient is important for expanding connectivity.

“For Facebook, TIP is a new investment that ties into our other connectivity efforts already under way through Internet.org” in various parts of the world, Parikh added.