BT partners with Facebook and TIP on disruptive network projects

BT partners with Facebook and TIP on disruptive network projects

BT has signed up to the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), announcing a partnership with social media giant Facebook aimed at rethinking the way carriers build and deploy network infrastructure.

Facebook and TIP will work with the UK incumbent at its BT Labs site at Adastral Park to promote collaborations with innovative infrastructure startups.

TIP will develop a number of acceleration centres, where startups will be able to engage with major operators and carriers from around the world, with BT agreeing to host the first European centre at its testing facility.

TIP was founded in 2016 by Facebook, Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, EE, Nokia and Intel, and now has more than 450 members. It aims to disrupt the traditional approach to planning, building and deploying telecoms networks.

SK Telecom currently sponsors a similar centre in Korea, where it lends its expertise to startups looking to develop disruptive technologies in the infrastructure market.

“We’re excited to work with BT to launch TIP’s newest Ecosystem Acceleration Centers in the UK,” said Dr. Alex Jinsung Choi, TIP chairman and CTO of SK Telecom. 

“We started these centres because we believe that we need to find ways to attract the brightest entrepreneurs and most innovative investors to work together as part of the TIP community. This centre will help us achieve our goal of creating an ecosystem that delivers new, agile and deployable infrastructure solutions to operators quickly and seamlessly.

BT’s centre will focus on UK startups, offering mentoring to the most promising emerging technology and telecoms firms. One topic on the initial agenda will be quantum computing, and mission critical communications.

Howard Watson, CEO technology, service & operations at BT said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to combine BT’s brightest minds with up-and-coming entrepreneurs and Facebook’s global presence. The TIP initiative is open innovation at its finest: pushing the boundaries; transforming the traditional use of technologies; and galvanising a global network of like-minded innovators to look beyond the current mix of technologies to the longer-term future. 

“This initiative supports our ambition to keep the UK at the very forefront of technology and telecoms innovation on a global scale and to encourage creative talent to engage with engineering and science.”

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