On Sunday, Facebook announced its newest advance, the Telecom Infra Project. The new project will focus on the development of new and alternative technologies in order to build and deploy telecom infrastructure.

Facebook has partnered up with tech companies including Aricent, Intel, HCL Technologies and T-Mobile. It will also cooperate with other members such as Deutsche Telekom and Nokia to promote innovations in the telecommunications and mobile services.

Image: VentureBeat/Facebook
Image: VentureBeat/Facebook

The Telecom Infra Project or ‘TIP” for short, is focused in reimagining the traditional approach to building and deploying telecom network infrastructure. This innovative project could be described as an engineering initiative to accelerate the development of open source components for current and future telecom networks. Three specific areas will be the focal point of the project to explore: access, backhaul and core and management.

By having all three taken care of, Facebook will assure its new project’s success. Thanks to the outstanding work group Facebook has reunited, the project groups within the targeted areas will count with unique engineering and operational expertise. Each member will direct its efforts on developing new technologies as well as searching for new ways to deploy in both developed and emerging markets.

Facebook’s goal is simple, making it easier and less expensive for telecommunication companies to connect people around the world without owning a cellular device. The social network giant is also trying to get a point across with the new development, showing how it wants to work with telecom companies rather than replacing them. It’s worth mentioning that this week in Barcelona some of the world’s biggest tech and telecom firms are meeting for the annual Mobile World Congress.

Learning from past experiences

The TIP’s work will center on separating the hardware and software layers in the traditional network system and turning them into ‘building blocks’ in order for them to combine with ease to make network deployments simpler. The Telecom Infra Project is planned to work similarly to what Facebook imagined with Open Compute Project or OCP, four years ago.

It previous launched OCP was inspired by the model of open source software which purpose was to share hardware and data center specifications with the goal of driving down costs.

“Where OCP addresses hardware in the data center, TIP will focus on interoperable software systems and components involved in access, backhaul, and core networks,” said Facebook’s vice president for infrastructure Jason Taylor. “With the goal of building an open ecosystem in which many companies can contribute to the advancement of each.”

The Telecom Infra Project will aim to solve connectivity issues around the world by using local technologies. In the Philippines, Facebook is testing a pilot to deliver mobile coverage to the whole village. The social network company claims that the new technologies developed and tested will be shared with the rest of the community. The successful implementation of this project is expected to benefit hundreds of people worldwide.

Source: WIRED