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Facebook are Shaking Up the Telecom Market

If you're anything like me then chances are you'll have seen the news about Facebook starting a telecoms initiative and have been like what? It took me longer than I'd like to admit to read through various articles to finally be able to make heads or tails of it. But when you do - or if you're someone who got it straight away - you'll realise that it's actually quite interesting even if you're not sure what to make of Facebook's involvement.

The engineering focused initiative is the Telecom Infra Project or TIP for short. Working with companies like Nokia, Intel and EE, the initiative hopes to look at existing data structures and re-build them so they're cheaper and available more widely for data providers. Now obviously data doesn't come out of nowhere, otherwise you'd be able to access it anywhere. You need the cell or wireless towers that all connect, you need servers that can carry the information and you need some way to manage where the data comes from and where it's going. These aspects are known as access, backhaul and the core. All this basically adds up to meaning that if you can't get a tower within a good range of an area or if a server becomes overcrowded due to too much data then it doesn't work properly. Some places you just can't have towers and the technology hasn't been flexible enough to try something else.

What Facebook are trying to do with TIP is take information learned from their Open Compute Project and use it to work out how this technology can be altered and improved. This is mostly to make the idea of 5G possible which will be necessary with things like Virtual Reality becoming the big thing in the near future. It also could make data plans a little cheaper which could wind up doing the opposite of what Facebook are hoping for. In a way it could help them, better data means more people using Messenger but it also means that mobile phone companies will be able to sell better data with more texts for less. But most plans already come with unlimited texts these days and data is the contesting point so it'll be interesting to see how they use this.

EE are already planning on putting this telecoms project to the test. They're trying to get 4G access out in the Scottish islands where putting up towers has been difficult. What the new data structures could allow is for the centres to be inside lighthouses or on boats which would not only look better but if it works then it could be used widely in any similar buildings across the world. This is only one way they're looking into improving the telecoms structure though.

This whole project suggests to me that once again Facebook are trying to take over how we interact with each other. It's kind of scary but knowing how it could improve things makes it more desirable. There's no doubt that Facebook are not working on this for some altruistic reason as they stand to benefit from the work but even with faster growing technology, they could still be waiting a few years to see a return.

Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @RosinaAtSMF

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Facebook are Shaking Up the Telecom Market Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, February 22, 2016 Rating: 5

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