At GSMA’s Mobile World Congress Americas in San Francisco, Deutsche Telekom announced three initiatives within the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) that take an open ecosystem approach to simultaneously spur network innovation and improve equipment cost efficiencies. First, a new Millimeter Wave (mmWave) Networks Project Group has been set up in TIP, and is co-chaired by Deutsche Telekom and Facebook. The group is supported by the launch of the first European TIP Community Lab in Bonn, Germany with mmWave as the initial focus area. Additionally, a TIP Ecosystem Acceleration Center (TEAC) will be launched in Berlin, Germany focused on network infrastructure innovation.

The Telecom Infra Project was jointly launched by SK Telecom, Intel, Nokia, Facebook and Deutsche Telekom at MWC Barcelona in 2016. Building on the community-based R&D model successfully proven within the Open Compute Project, TIP aims to reimagine the traditional approach to building and deploying telecom infrastructure. Deutsche Telekom is working within TIP to bring innovation to the telco industry required for mastering the exponential Internet traffic growth challenge. “Our goal is to deliver the best network services to our customers, and at the same time deliver a superior capital efficiency,” says Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO Deutsche Telekom. “This requires more radical approaches. We value Facebook’s contributions to this space and enjoy the excellent partnership we have as part of TIP and beyond.”

The newly formed Millimeter Wave Networks Project Group within TIP has the goal to develop innovative solutions for very high performance and cost-efficient access and metro networks, initially using the 60 GHz unlicensed spectrum range. The project group is focusing on key telecom operator use-cases and appropriate system architectures, e.g. delivering fiber-like gigabit data rates to residential and consumer customers, mobile backhaul, and dense connectivity for Smart Cities. Andreas Gladisch, DT co-chair for the project group, said “We are aiming to deliver cost efficient solutions, truly innovating within the market. We expect our work to create a vibrant open, community-driven ecosystem, that will meet the needs of telecom and city operators.”

To complement the work done in the mmWave area, Deutsche Telekom announced the first European TIP Community Lab in Bonn, Germany. The lab will initially focus on mmWave technology. TIP Community Labs provide space and equipment for TIP members doing project group work, making the labs an important tool for the development and rollout of innovative technologies.

With TIP Ecosystem Acceleration Centers, TIP addresses the global challenge that very few startups are innovating in the field of network infrastructure. Bruno Jacobfeuerborn stated, “Telco is generally a market with high entry barriers and is dominated by established vendors. Small startups have problems entering the telco market, even for proof of concepts. As a result, the venture capital community has been very hesitant to make infrastructure-related investments. The TEAC center in Berlin, jointly announced by TIP, Facebook and Deutsche Telekom will help to break this deadlock. Our work on 5G has shown DT’s leadership in driving telco innovation, and I am very confident that we will also be successful in helping push the broader telecom infrastructure ecosystem forward.”