Telecom Infra Project focuses on millimeter wave tech in latest update

The Telecom Infra Project, a 450-strong organisation which focuses on changing approaches to telecom network infrastructure, has announced a project around millimeter wave (mmWave) networks.

The Millimeter Wave Networks Project Group, co-chaired by Facebook and Deutsche Telekom (DT) and announced at Mobile World Congress Americas in San Francisco, aims to “accelerate the deployment of mmWave networks and collaborate on innovative network planning methodologies and tools, software routing protocols and simulation platforms,” in the words of Leland Lai, executive director.

A lot of inspiration for the latest initiative is derived from Facebook’s Terragraph project, whereby the social giant put together a 60 GHz, multi-node wireless system aimed at bringing high speed connectivity to dense urban areas and moved it away from its indoor limiations. Lai added the group will “use data and lessons learned” from Terragraph.

Another initiative involves the expansion of the Telecom Infra Project Ecosystem Acceleration Center (TEAC), with a new centre launching in Berlin through further support from Deutsche Telekom. The centres, which now number four after Seoul, London and Paris, “attract the brightest entrepreneurial startups and visionary investors to collaborate with the wider TIP community,” as Lai puts it.

As Deutsche Telekom put it, the goal for them was to ‘deliver the best network services to customers…and at the same time deliver a superior capital efficiency.’ “Telco is generally a market with high entry barriers and is dominated by established vendors,” said CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn. “Small startups have problems entering the telco market, even for proof of concepts. As a result, the venture capital community has been very hesitant to make infrastructure-related investments.

“The TEAC centre in Berlin…will help to break this deadlock,” Jacobfeuerborn added. “Our work on 5G has shown DT’s leadership in driving telco innovation, and I am very confident that we will also be successful in helping push the broader telecom infrastructure ecosystem forward.”

The TIP has members from operators to infrastructure providers to system integrators, and features SK Telecom, Telefonica and Juniper Networks among those who have signed up. 

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