Telecom Infra Project Reaches 300 Members

The Telecom Infra Project, a wide-ranging effort to create open source telecom infrastructure, now has 300 members, according to Lance Condray, Facebook infrastructure strategist.

Those members include Axiata, EE, Deutsche Telekom, Globe Telecom, Indosat Ooredo, MTN, MyRepublic, SK Telecom, Tata Communications, Telefonica and Vodafone.

Acadia Networks, Accenture, Adva Optical Networking, Amdocs, Broadcom, Ciena, Equinix, Facebook, Gilat, Infinera, Intel, Juniper Networks and Nokia are some of the suppliers also working with TIP.

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

“A few years ago, Facebook was faced with a data center problem familiar to many scale companies: We depended on proprietary systems and hardware that were inflexible and expensive,” said Jay Parikh, Facebook Global Head of Engineering and Infrastructure. “We realized quickly that this approach would not be sustainable; we needed to find a new way.”

Note the language: traditional rack and stack approaches were “unsustainable.”

“We recognized that telecom infrastructure could benefit from the same innovations taking place in the data center,” Parikh said.

“It was clear that the raw building blocks of what we were developing for our own infrastructure could be applied to telecom networks with great benefit,” he said.

At first, “TIP will focus on disaggregating the components of network infrastructure that are traditionally bundled together and vendor-specific,” said Parikh.

As one early example, Facebook has been working in partnership with Globe, deploying a low-cost, solar-powered network-in-a-box solution, bringing mobile coverage to a village. “In the first week alone, we connected more than 60 percent of the community,” said Parikh.

Project groups also have been created to address “the most pressing industry needs including connecting the unconnected or underserved populations, and augmenting the development of powerful new technologies like 5G.”

The access system integration and site optimization group is chaired by SK Telecom.

The unbundled solutions group is co-chaired by SK Telecom and Nokia, and will seek cost-effective, low-power and low-maintenance solutions.

Media-friendly solutions, chaired by Intel, will focus on mobile experience, especially for close-to-edge solutions.

In the backhaul area, Facebook heads the effort to develop “thin and extensible software stack to autonomously coordinate routing, addressing and security related functions in packet-switched IPv6 networks.”

The open optical packet transport project is co-chaired by Facebook and Equinix, and is working on Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) open packet transport architectures that avoid supplier lock-in.

The core network optimization project is chaired by Intel, and seeks to disaggregate
core network components.

The greenfield telecom networks group is co-chaired by Nokia, Facebook and Deutsche Telekom, and will work on IT-based network architecture.
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