by Dr. Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO of SK Telecom, TIP Chairman
A TIP Update from MWC 2017
As we gather from around the globe at Mobile World Congress, we felt it was important to provide an update on the Telecom Infra Project (TIP).
We’re excited to welcome a number of new members to TIP, including Afrimax, Airtel, BT, Dish, Etisalat, Microsoft, Millicom, Nextel, Reliance Jio, TIM, and Zain. They join an existing strong community of more than 450 members who’ve been with us or signed on since we launched. In addition to these new members, Caroline Chan, vice president and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division at Intel, will be joining the TIP board of directors, assuming the seat held by Lynn Comp, director of Intel’s Market Development Organization. We welcome Caroline and thank Lynn for her contributions to launching TIP.
We would also like to share progress and highlight contributions on several project groups as they continue to build on the momentum of the TIP Summit. These include:
TIP Ecosystem Acceleration Centers
Today, we’re excited to announce the expansion of the TIP Ecosystem Acceleration Center program. BT will launch the newest centers in London and Adastral Park this year. At the TIP Summit last November, we announced the first center in Seoul with support from SK Telecom and Facebook. These centers enable global operators to coordinate closely with each other and Facebook to accelerate the deployment of infrastructure technology solutions from talented startups.
We’re also announcing a new movement of innovative investors who are supporting the ecosystem. In London, a group of leading investors, incubators, university and public/private funds have joined forces to invest $170M in startups focused on telecom infrastructure. These 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.
People and Process Project Group
We are happy to announce significant, sustained collaboration within the People and Process project group by eight global operators and three consultancies, with key contributions from Airtel, Bell Canada, Facebook, Telefonica, NBN, Telstra and others.
This group has shared proven practices and case studies for accelerating cultural change, strengthening talent development and improving employee incentives within the network operator context. As a follow-on to these contributions, three operator members have launched cultural change – talent development pilots. Additionally, People and Process has kicked-off a new process work stream focused on software development and deployment (DevOps) for SDN-NFV. This work stream’s founding members include Accenture, Bell Canada, Deloitte, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NBN, Telecom Italia and Telstra. For more information, visit the People and Process project group page here.
Cavium and the OpenCellular project group are working to create a 4G LTE/LTE-Advanced base station hardware and software platform. Cavium will start with contributing and supporting 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. Cavium will be demonstrating OpenCellular LTE at their MWC booth 2M33.
We are also happy to announce that 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. A video demo of a Keysight test solution running can be seen at the Keysight booth 6G10. For more information, visit the OpenCellular project group page here.
We are also pleased to announce another contribution by SK Telecom and a collection of collaborators to the TIP Solutions Integration project group which shares APIs for an unbundled 4G RAN hardware and software stack. This is an important step in facilitating multi-vendor interoperability and an open RAN architecture. The results of the collaboration will be on display in the Unbundled 4G Demo at the SK Telecom business lounge (3H10). The Solutions Integration project group is also delighted to announce 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. For more technical details and to download a copy of the white-paper, visit the Solutions Integration project group page here.
Open Optical Packet Transport
At the TIP Summit, Facebook announced Voyager, the industry’s first white-box transponder and routing solution. The design was contributed to the TIP community but importantly, this is not just a concept — members of the Open Optical project group worked with leading operator partners to successfully test in the market. We are excited about the ecosystem that has come together around Voyager as part of TIP. Since November, the TIP community has seen tremendous interest in Voyager. The momentum highlighted by ADVA Optical Networking today shows how the industry is looking for new, innovative and cost-efficient solutions made possible by dis-aggregated hardware and software optical networking platforms.
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 1000 km production fiber route in Europe. In addition, today Orange has 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.
Greenfield Telecom Networks
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. This will strengthen collaboration between network operators and developers to present a more coherent experience for end users. For more information, visit the Greenfield Telecom Networks project group. The results of the collaboration will be on display in the Application Enablement Demo at MWC.
We look forward to meeting up with our partners over the coming week. We are making great strides as we continue to work together to transform telecom infrastructure. If you’re interested in joining the TIP community, you can sign up here.