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BT partners with the Telecom Infra Project and Facebook to accelerate telecoms innovation

Press release   •   Feb 27, 2017 10:55 GMT

BT has joined the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and is partnering with Facebook to accelerate research into disruptive telecoms technologies. TIP is a global initiative that aims to transform the traditional approach to building and deploying telecoms network infrastructure.

As part of the initiative, BT, Facebook and TIP will work together in locations such as the BT Labs at Adastral Park - BT’s global research HQ - and London’s Tech City.

The project will enable selected telecoms infrastructure startups to engage directly with leading experts from BT, the TIP community and Facebook, drawing upon BT’s extensive research and innovation capabilities, experience and global network.

This initiative will aid the UK’s expanding community of innovators, by providing a support framework to help connect them to investment partners and to market and launch new products and services. They’ll 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.

TIP will create a network of start-up acceleration centres, in collaboration with major operators around the world. BT has agreed to host the first such centre in Europe. This UK acceleration centre joins a similar facility in South Korea, sponsored by SK Telecom, as part of a growing network that will strengthen collaboration and accelerate adoption of key technologies.

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.”

“We’re excited to work with BT to launch TIP’s newest Ecosystem Acceleration Centers in the UK,” said Dr. Alex Jinsung Choi, TIP Chairman and CTO of SK Telecom. “We started these centers because we believe that we need to find ways to attract the brightest entrepreneurs and most innovative investors to work together as part of the TIP community. This center will help us achieve our goal of creating an ecosystem that delivers new, agile and deployable infrastructure solutions to operators quickly and seamlessly.

“Facebook is looking forward to working with BT and TIP to support these new Acceleration Centers with technical and market expertise,” said Ashish Kelkar, Board Member, TIP, and Director, Infrastructure Strategy, Facebook. “Working together, we hope to help identify and support start-ups who bring fresh ideas to the industry.”

The initial focus of the UK acceleration centre will be in the areas of Quantum Computing (applied to networks) and mission-critical communications where the UK government, academia and the telecommunications industry all have important roles to play in pioneering new technologies and applications. Further areas of focus will be chosen next year.

Through this initiative BT and TIP will identify, support and mentor the most promising and innovative start-ups emerging in the UK technology and telecoms sector.

TIP, co-founded in February 2016 by Facebook, Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, EE, Nokia and Intel, (and since joined by over 450 other organisations) is an engineering-focused initiative driven by operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators, and other technology companies that aims to reimagine the traditional approach to building and deploying telecoms network infrastructure.

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 20161, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,012m with reported profit before taxation of £2,907m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

1The results for the period have been revised to reflect the outcome of the investigation into our Italian business. Detail of which is set out in our third quarter results announcement published on 27 January 2017. This financial information is unaudited.

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