MWC17: TIP gets bigger, announces Voyager trials, and more

Various TIP members are showcasing TIP-related solutions and project at MWC17. Credit: GSMA

Facebook’s Telecom Infra Project (TIP) announced several updates at MWC17, from new members and startup investments to trials of its open-source DWDM white-box transponder and progress of its OpenCellular project.

According to a blog post from TIP Chairman Dr. Alex Jinsung Choi (also CTO of SK Telecom), TIP has signed on new members, including Afrimax, Airtel, BT, Dish, Etisalat, Microsoft, Millicom, Nextel, Reliance Jio, TIM, and Zain.

TIP also expanded its Ecosystem Acceleration Center program with the launch of new centers in London and Adastral Park this year coutesy of new member BT. The first acceleration was launched last November in Seoul with support from SK Telecom and Facebook. The centers enable global operators to coordinate closely with each other and Facebook to accelerate the deployment of infrastructure technology solutions from talented startups.

TIP also said that a group of leading investors, incubators, university and public/private funds in London have invest $170 million in startups focused on telecom infrastructure. Investors include Atlantic Bridge, Capital Enterprise, Downing Ventures, Entrepreneur First, Episode 1 Ventures, IP Group plc, Oxford Sciences Innovation and Touchstone Innovations. “We believe this focused investment direction from these innovative investors will bring new infrastructure solutions to the industry,” Choi wrote.

On the solution front, Cavium and TIP’s OpenCellular project group are working to create a 4G LTE/LTE-Advanced base station hardware and software platform. Cavium will contribute and support the design of production-ready hardware for a single sector LTE 2T2R MIMO (64/128 user) and will also have the associated end-to-end L1 to L3 software stack.

Meanwhile, Keysight will be taking a leadership role as co-chair of a test automation sub-group, and will also contribute open source code that will enable testing and measurement of OpenCellular hardware with the aim of standardizing its production and adoption.

Regarding the Facebook-designed Voyager open-source DWDM transport white box, ADVA Optical Networking announced it is working with nine customers on trials of the Voyager solution. ADVA didn’t name names, but said they were “a mixture of Tier 1 service providers and large enterprises” who are using the open optical packet transport system in a range of proof-of-concept installations.

ADVA was the first vendor to publicly commit to commercial support of the open 1RU DWDM device, to the point of integrating it into the ADVA FSP Network Manager developing a complete portfolio of supporting services.

In terms of upcoming deployments, Telia is working with Facebook and TIP to deploy and test Voyager over their production long-haul fiber network. Initial testing will take place over a 1,000-km production fiber route in Europe.

In addition, Orange announced that it is working with Facebook and the TIP Open Optical Pack Transport project group community to perform an evaluation of Voyager. Orange will define the use-case over their production optical transport network and aims to share the trial results with the TIP community.

Other TIP announcements at MWC17:

  • The Greenfield Telecom Networks project group is announcing the formation of an Application Enablement sub-group with Axiata and WSO2.Telco that will create an Open Source API Management layer to expose operator network capabilities to application developers by simplifying developer experiences and enabling rapid partnering.
  • SK Telecom and a collection of collaborators contribute to the TIP Solutions Integration project group, which shares APIs for an unbundled 4G RAN hardware and software stack.
  • The Solutions Integration project group also announced the formation of a 5G Unbundled group, which hopes to achieve similar results as the 4G Unbundled group. The project group is releasing a white paper describing the ‘unbundling’ concept and relevance of it for next generation telecom systems.

Various members are showcasing TIP-related solutions and project at MWC17. Check the blog post for details.

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