World Telecom Labs Joins Facebook's Telecom Infra Project

The Telecom Infra Project has gained a new member with extensive experience in building voice and data networks in Africa.

Award-winning World Telecom Labs (WTL) is amongst the first wave of companies to join the newly established group. WTL will be sharing knowledge and expertise on two fronts: connecting rural villages in Africa and helping operators deploy VoIP networks to reduce congestion on existing networks. To date, World Telecom Labs has deployments in more than 30 countries in Africa and has a well-deserved reputation for excellent service, reliable products and an expert team with extensive experience in Africa.

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) was co-founded by Facebook, Nokia and Intel along with operators Deutsch Telecom and SK Telecom at the start of February 2016. TIP's focus is on disaggregating the components of network infrastructure that are traditionally bundled together and vendor-specific. The aim is to give operators more flexibility in how they build out their networks to enable better, more cost-effective coverage.

TIP members work across three areas: access, backhaul and core and management, to explore new hardware and software architectures with an eye toward greater simplicity and efficiency. Members participate by contributing specifications for network hardware and software, collaborating to develop and define new specifications, designing new network topologies to solve specific connectivity challenges and adopting and deploying the technologies that emerge. By leveraging the collective knowledge and operational expertise of its members, TIP has the potential to accelerate the development of 5G and other new technologies that will pave the way for better connectivity around the world.

Leigh Smith, Managing Director of WTL, said “How to connect the billions of people who do not yet have voice and data services has become a hot topic in the industry and we welcome Facebook’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s personal interest in connecting rural Africa. Africa’s telecoms infrastructure has come a long way in a short period, and WTL has been very active with a multitude of initiatives, however, there is still much to do. We will ensure that TIP members not only understand the unique challenges faced in providing reliable and cost-effective networks across Africa but are equipped to find sustainable solutions.”

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