Now Facebook plans to eat the $500 billion telecom equipment market

Julie Bort

Business Insider

2nd November 2016

’’ ’After taking on the industry, Facebook has now set its sights on the too.’ ’On Tuesday, it of its plans.’ ’This includes a new product invented at Facebook that it will freely share with the world, as well as a plan to design an open source cellular wireless network.

’ ’Specifically, Facebook announced a piece of network equipment known as an optical switch, which it . In this is the first ”white box” transponder and routing device for Open Packet DWDM optical networks.’ ’Optical networks are networks that transfer data using light pulses rather than conventional copper wires.

A white box is a generic piece of computer equipment that costs far less than the big brand names.’ ’In addition to the Voyager device, Facebook is also giving away the files for a project called OpenCellular. The goal is to create a new open wireless ecosystem, Facebook says.

’ ’As Jay Parikh, head of infrastructure and engineering at Facebook, :’ ’This is all part of Facebook’’s Telecom Infra Project, announced in February and created in the image of its Open Compute Project. OCP creates ”open source hardware” for the data center, where engineers from different companies work together to design the gear they want and need.’ ’OCP was born five years ago and has inspiring to design all of their own networks and equipment.

’ ’When Apple refused to join OCP last year, its entire network team is said to have . Apple later joined OCP.’ ’That team launched a startup called SnapRoute, led by Jason Forrester, that offers open source network software based on its work at Apple.

’ ’That SnapRoute software is also powering the new Facebook Voyager switch. SnapRoute also just a networking software project HPE founded.’ ’Through OCP, Facebook has invented its own servers, storage drives, racks, and network switches, and has inspired a booming ecosystem of other software, gear, and startups around it — particularly the computer network stuff, a market currently dominated by Cisco.

’ ’Now Facebook has turned its attention to disrupting the telecom equipment market and the vendors that dominate it, such as Huawei, Ciena, Cisco, Fujitsu, Juniper Networks, and others.’ ’’ ’On top of that, Facebook has launched a telecom accelerator in Seoul, South Korea, a city known for its advanced telecommunications, in conjunction with SK Telecom. The idea is to encourage people to launch telecom tech startups.

Facebook says this is the first such accelerator, but not the last.’ ’Given the runaway success of OCP, TIP has already attracted a lot of attention.’ ’Facebook held its first industry conference for TIP members on Tuesday where it announced these new devices.

A bunch of new companies have joined, too, including Bell Canada, du, NBN, Telia, Telstra, Accenture, Canonical, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, among others.’ ’More than 300 companies are already part of TIP, Facebook says.’.



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