Ericsson and Facebook on Wednesday announced the creation of a joint innovation lab supporting the Internet.org initiative. The Internet.org Innovation Lab, an Ericsson-Facebook collaboration, will provide an environment and expertise for optimizing applications, networks, devices and services for the next five billion Internet users.
Expected to open in the second half of 2014 on Facebook's campus in Menlo Park, California, the new lab will tackle the most critical aspects of the Internet.org goal to make Internet access available to all.
Based on Ericsson Device and Application Verification service capabilities and the company's technology leadership in mobile networks, Ericsson will provide Facebook and application developers the ability to simulate different network environments from around the world. This will allow them to develop and test mobile applications and services.
"With this lab, developers will be able to simulate network conditions typically found in new markets, giving them an environment to test and optimize their applications under a number of different scenarios", said Jay Parikh, Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering at Facebook. "This is a unique capability that Ericsson brings to the table and we are happy they have taken a leadership position with us in this initiative".
The lab will help remove one of the key physical barriers that exist for bringing the Internet to everyone. Developers today typically only have access to the network environment of their physical location. With consumers today operating in different network environments (2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi) on multiple mobile operating systems and a wide range of devices, the complexity involved for developers can be overwhelming. The joint innovation lab will facilitate multiple network environments for testing and optimization, all in one location.
Announced in August 2013, Internet.org was formed with the goal to make Internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected, and to bring the same opportunities to everyone that the connected third of the world has today. Ericsson also has a more than 100 year history of working with bridging the digital divide and Technology for Good in Africa, and this experience will greatly contribute to the goals of Internet.org. This includes making Internet access affordable, using data more efficiently and helping businesses drive access.
"The goals of internet.org are very much aligned with our long-standing ideal that communications is a basic human need", said Johan Wibergh, Executive Vice President and Ericsson's Head of Business Unit Networks. "The creation of the lab will provide a unique environment for testing and ultimately optimizing applications regardless of network, device or operating system. The collaboration with app developers will provide Ericsson with invaluable understanding of their requirements on our networks, which we can apply to ensure the continued development of the best performing networks globally".
The service, announced at Mobile World Congress 2013, enables application developers, device and chipset vendors, as well as other players in the ecosystem of mobile and fixed telecom services, the ability to test and verify the devices and applications in wireline, mobile 2G, 3G and LTE networks.