The big players in today’s telecom world simply can’t afford to hold onto legacy, proprietary network components and technologies. The Internet of Things (IoT) and the huge number of users, devices and applications it comprises, are pushing companies to seek open, interoperable networking standards and solutions that facilitate flexibility and efficiency.
Out of that need for sustainability and interoperability, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) has been born. The brand new organization, announced just last month, is a collaborative effort from Nokia, Facebook, Intel (News - Alert), Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe, SK Telecom and additional global operators, equipment providers, system integrators and technology companies. The group has a common goal of accelerating the growth of scalable, affordable and high quality telecom infrastructure.
At the top of TIP’s mandates is the promotion of networking simplicity and transparency as well as an open architecture. The group is also working on an open specification for the operability interface used with the radio access run time environment. This would enable development of new radio solutions, reaching previously untouched market segments with multi-vendor offerings.
"The traditional carrier-grade operator model requires a sustainable business case for deploying mobile coverage,” said Henri Tervonen, head of Architecture and Technology, Nokia (News - Alert). “The deployment is often time consuming and costly, and some places can be left out of coverage because they lack required traffic and revenue streams. The model suggested by Telecom Infra Project can lower the threshold of deploying coverage and it can be done by third parties. For users, this will mean improved mobile connectivity in places where coverage would otherwise not be feasible, including underground areas, indoors and other black holes in urban coverage, in unconnected rural villages, and in other remote areas."
The objectives of TIP are a reflection of the massive flux in the telecom space in general. Carriers, service providers and even enterprises need to build out their networks in an affordable way, while still providing high quality services to their customers. Opening up and broadening the networking ecosystem to embrace multiple vendors and technologies is really the only way to achieve this at the magnitude of scale needed to support the burgeoning IoT movement.
“What might be one of the most important parts of this approach is the option value of flexibility -- when it's built into the infrastructure from the beginning, the system can evolve without having to start over,” wrote Jason Taylor, VP of infrastructure at Facebook (News - Alert), about TIP’s goals. “The more open the ecosystem is, the more options an operator or a network services company will have to fit the problem at hand, whether the issue is connecting an unconnected area or bringing a mature network into the 5G era and beyond.”