Facebook’s Telecom Infra Project aims to speed-up network rollouts

A number of carriers have signed up to Facebook’s latest initiative, Telecom Infra Project (TIP), which aims to encourage the development of new telecoms networking hardware.

The likes of Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe Telecom and SK Telecom have joined the engineering-focussed initiative, which also brings together system integrators and technology companies. 

In a blog post, Facebook’s global head of engineering and infrastructure Jay Parikh highlighted how traditional telecoms infrastructure isn’t keeping up with data-intensive experiences like video and virtual reality. “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,” he said. 

TIP members will work together to contribute designs in three areas: access, backhaul, and core and management. Initial reference designs will be provided by Facebook, Intel and Nokia, while telecoms operators will help define and deploy the technology. 

The move follows Facebook’s Open Compute Project in 2011, which also aimed to accelerate the pace of innovation. “This new effort will follow the same principles of open technology design and collaboration, and we hope the cost savings from greater efficiency will be passed along to people by making their data plans cheaper and making it affordable for operators to extend their networks to places it hasn't traditionally been cost effective to do so,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post.