BT has joined the Telecom Infra Project to accelerate research into disruptive telecoms technologies.
As part of the initiative, BT, Facebook and TIP will work together in locations including BT Labs at Adastral Park and London’s Tech City to enable selected telecoms infrastructure start-ups to engage directly with experts and draw upon the operator’s research capabilities and its global network.
As part of this first European acceleration centre, BT said it hopes to provide the UK’s expanding community of innovators with a support framework to help “connect them to investment partners and to market and launch new products and services”.
They will tackle shared challenges such as how to connect remote communities, how to enhance people’s lives through innovation in communications technology, and how to better manage the unprecedented growth of network traffic.
The initial focus will be on the area of Quantum Computing applied to networks and mission-critical communications where the UK government, academia and the telecommunications industry are looking to new technologies and applications. Further areas of focus will be chosen next year.
The BT venture joins a similar facility in South Korea, sponsored by SK Telecom.
TIP, a global initiative aiming to transform the traditional approach to building and deploying telecoms network infrastructure, was co-founded in February 2016 by Facebook, Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, EE, Nokia and Intel. Today, it encompasses over 450 organisations.
Howard Watson, CEO Technology, Service & Operations at BT said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to combine BT’s brightest minds with up-and-coming entrepreneurs and Facebook’s global presence. The TIP initiative is open innovation at its finest, pushing the boundaries; transforming the traditional use of technologies; and galvanising a global network of like-minded innovators to look beyond the current mix of technologies to the longer-term future. This initiative supports our ambition to keep the UK at the very forefront of technology and telecoms innovation on a global scale and to encourage creative talent to engage with engineering and science.”