Facebook Launches Telecom Infra Project, Partners With Intel and Nokia

Facebook Launches Telecom Infra Project, Partners With Intel and Nokia
Facebook over the weekend announced the launch of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), for which it is teaming up with partners from telecommunications industry to create an open source platform for hardware as well as software to build and deploy telecom network infrastructure.

The social giant revealed that Intel and Nokia have "pledged to contribute an initial suite of reference designs" while other partners such as Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom operators will help in deploying the "technology as it fits their needs."

Detailing the new TIP initiative, Jay Parikh, Facebook's Global Head of Engineering and Infrastructure, says that the TIP members will work towards three aspects - access, backhaul, and core and management. The company is basically trying to repeat the strategy it followed for its Open Compute Project model, which back in 2011 was aimed at creating the efficient and economical data centres.

"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," explained Parikh in a post. Facebook says that TIP partners will work together to accelerate development of technologies such as 5G. Adding further, Parikh gave an example of how Facebook in collaboration with Globe had recently piloted a deployment based on TIP principles to bring cellular coverage to a small village in the Philippines that earlier did not have access to cellular network.

"In addition, EE is planning to work as part of TIP to pilot a community-run 4G coverage solution that can withstand the challenges presented by the remote environment of the Scottish Highlands to connect unconnected communities," added Parikh.

Facebook stresses that working in tandem with operators and the broader telecom industry will help in efficiently expand connectivity. "For Facebook, TIP is a new investment that ties into our other connectivity efforts already under way through Internet.org," said Parikh.

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