Facebook has announced a new Telecom Infra Project as part of its overall Internet.org mission. Internet.org is Facebook’s over-arching program to increase Internet connectivity across the world, especially for those who don’t have access or can’t afford.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post that the company will partner with telecom companies across the world to develop new technologies that will reduce the cost of building mobile networks globally in this project.
Zuckerberg wrote that “Internet.org is made up of many separate programs, including a few focused on developing new types of infrastructure to connect people in the world’s most remote communities. Through ideas like solar-powered aircraft and satellites that can beam down internet through lasers, and community wi-fi hotspots, we can reach communities that are difficult or expensive to reach with traditional infrastructure.”
Facebook says it will work with more than 30 partners including Deutsche Telekom, Intel, Nokia and SK Telecom to develop new technologies that can help connect people faster, and more efficiently. Telecom Infra Project will also look at ways of accelerating the growth of 5G networks.
Zuckerberg says that inspiration for this initiative is the Open Compute Project, which they launched 2011 where the company open sourced its server, network and data centers designs to promote collaboration. Zuckerberg says he is confident that their new project will them connect more people faster.
Facebook says that members of the TIP project will work together to contribute designs in three areas — access, backhaul, and core and management. Facebook announcement reads, “In what is a traditionally closed system, component pieces will be unbundled, affording operators more flexibility in building networks. This will result in significant gains in cost and operational efficiency for both rural and urban deployments. As the effort progresses, TIP members will work together to accelerate development of technologies like 5G that will pave the way for better connectivity and richer services.”
Facebook along with Intel and Nokia it will contribute an initial suite of reference designs, while other members such as operators Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom will help define and deploy the technology as it fits their needs.
Facebook’s Free Basics app, which was part of Internet.org, was recently banned in India, as the regulator TRAI ruled against differential pricing of content services. Facebook founder had said, he was disappointed by the ruling.