Telecom Infra Project Aims to Reduce Telecom Infrastructure Costs

Core communications infrastructure costs have improved over several decades, meaning it now costs less to deploy a modern, Internet Protocol based application, access or transport network.

Different network architectures, physical media, lower cost computing and storage, open source code, virtualized networks and Internet Protocol itself have contributed.

But greater cost reductions are expected. One new initiative, the “Telecom Infra Project,”  aims to to “develop new technologies and approaches to building and deploying telecom network infrastructure,” according to Jay Parikh, Facebook global head of engineering and infrastructure.

Facebook, Intel, and Nokia have pledged to 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, said Parikh.

Telecom Infra Project  members will work together to contribute designs in three areas including  access, backhaul, and core and management.

Significantly, the effort will apply Open Compute Project models of openness and disaggregation as methods of spurring innovation. In other words, in addition to relying on open source, the Project also will rely on use of standard, “commodity” hardware.

“In what is a traditionally closed system, component pieces will be unbundled, affording operators more flexibility in building networks,” Parikh says.

Facebook, in collaboration with Globe, recently launched a pilot deployment based on Telecom Infra Project principles to connect a small village in the Philippines that previously did not have mobile coverage.

In addition, EE is planning to work as part of TIP to pilot a community-run 4G coverage solution that can withstand the challenges presented by the remote environment of the Scottish Highlands to connect unconnected communities.

Testing new technologies and approaches and sharing what we learn with the rest of the industry will enable operators to adopt new models with full confidence that they will be sustainable.

Without much doubt, the Project will help service providers build networks at lower cost.
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