MWC 2016: Zuckerberg starts Telecom Infra Project

Facebook launches project with major telecom players and challenges industry priorities

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MWC 2016: Zuckerberg starts Telecom Infra Project Zuckerberg challenged the industry's priorities in developing next-generation 5G networks around 2020; calling it ‘faster connections for rich people'
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  February 23, 2016

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was in the spotlight again at Mobile World Congress 2016, but this time he announced the formation of a new project.

Facebook's Telecom Infra Project (TIP) involves major telecom players, such as Nokia, Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom and Intel, all of which have the aim to build faster mobile networks but at lower costs. Creating new hardware could enable telecoms to connect more people with greater efficiency and improve services for those who are already connected.

With this said, Zuckerberg acknowledged that the relationship between telecom carriers and messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp and Messenger, can be both strained yet complimentary. The latter meaning, with increased usage of messaging services results in more traffic, he advises telecom carriers to shift business models to make more revenue from data transmission.

Zuckerberg challenged the industry's priorities in developing next-generation 5G networks around 2020; calling it ‘faster connections for rich people'. Instead, he pointed out more than 4bn people have no access to the Internet and reckons companies should make more effort to ‘finish the job of making sure that everyone gets Internet access'.

In a blog post, Jay Parikh, global head of engineering and infrastructure at Facebook said: "Every day, more people and devices around the world are coming online, and it's becoming easier to share data-intensive experiences.

"Scaling traditional telecom infrastructure to meet this global data challenge is not moving as fast as people need. We know there isn't a sole solution for this, and no single company can tackle the problem alone."

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