Facebook Pushes Open Source Wireless with Telecom Infra Project

A new initiative by Facebook aims to speed the development of wireless networks by promoting more open source network components. The social network announced the launch of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) at Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona this week. Several hardware companies such as Nokia and Intel, as well as wireless providers like Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom have signed on to the project.

The goal is to increase access to high-speed wireless networks in anticipation of increasing consumer demand for access to ever more data-intensive content like streaming video and virtual reality on their mobile devices, according to Facebook.

Accelerating the Pace of Innovation

Jason Taylor, Facebook?EU?s vice president of infrastructure, described the project an engineering-focused initiative working on next-generation open components. ?EU?The goal is to produce simple, efficient, and flexible technologies that are relevant to both existing and future networks,?EU? Taylor wrote on a company blog. ?EU?By working in the open, we can accelerate the pace of innovation and put the days of monolithic, costly evolution behind us.?EU?

One of the biggest challenges to the deployment of next-generation wireless technologies, such as the upcoming 5G standard, is the inflexibility of many network components. Existing wireless networks are typically based on monolithic deployments that make it difficult for providers to make incremental improvements by upgrading discrete elements of the network.

The result is that upgrading any one part of the network requires a complete overhaul, typically replacing almost all of the existing infrastructure. The cost-intensive nature of that approach makes providers hesitant to upgrade systems in areas that lack the customer density to justify such massive capital expenditures.

TIP?EU?s goal is to make it less expensive for companies to upgrade their infrastructures by making wireless design more flexible, modular, and interoperable. ?EU?When it's built into the infrastructure from...

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