Enabling better global connectivity through new partnerships and technologies

By Dan Rabinovitsj

Through Facebook Connectivity, we are working to bring internet access and its benefits to everyone — giving more people a voice, strengthening communities, and creating new economic opportunities. To do this, we take a partner-first approach, working with network operators, equipment manufacturers, and other partners to introduce new initiatives and develop technologies that help bring people online to a faster internet.
The latest edition of our Inclusive Internet Index survey found that progress on closing the digital divide between low-income countries and the rest of the world stalled in 2018. Preventing an even greater digital divide and closing the remaining gaps in internet inclusion will require more collaboration. We remain committed to working closely with governments, the industry, academics, technologists, and civil society to help connect the 3.8 billion people who are not yet online and to improve the experiences of those who are already connected.
Today the Facebook Connectivity team is announcing new partnerships and discussing the momentum we are seeing on our existing efforts across a wide range of technology and program partnerships.
New partnerships and technologies to extend rural connectivity
To meet the unique challenges of connecting rural communities, we are collaborating with global operators to test new wireless technologies and business models that will help extend connectivity to areas that lack mobile broadband coverage.
In Latin America, Telefonica, Facebook, IDB Invest, and CAF (Development Bank of Latin America) are launching Internet para Todos (IpT) Peru, a project to form an open access wholesale rural mobile infrastructure operator. Any mobile operator in Peru will be able to use IpT's 3G and 4G infrastructure to deliver retail mobile services. Telefonica del Peru is contributing its existing rural business to IpT Peru. Facebook, IDB Invest, and CAF are investing in IpT Peru, with the goal of upgrading existing services and building new sites, enabling retail providers to deliver faster mobile Internet coverage. This partnership will help demonstrate that infrastructure projects based on open access principles, combined with new technologies and business models, can connect communities and serve as a model for other areas of the world.
We are also collaborating with Viasat to accelerate deployment of its satellite-enabled Community Wi-Fi hotspots, which are currently available to more than one million people across Mexico. Facebook is investing in the rollout and working with Viasat to help identify optimal deployment locations within Viasat's satellite coverage area using open population maps. This is a model that we believe can help overcome global connectivity challenges, ultimately enabling more people in rural areas to have affordable, high-quality internet access.
Open source technology to enable new operator business models
We're also announcing Magma, an open source software platform that will help simplify and extend mobile network deployments for operators. Magma includes a distributed mobile packet core supporting local breakout of the data plane, in addition to network automation and management software. Initial Magma launch partners are Telefonica, which is using Magma to help expand rural connectivity in Latin America, and BRCK, which is using Magma to pilot a new LTE network in Kenya.
Wi-Fi momentum with partners
We're pleased to announce new partners launching Express Wi-Fi — including CellC in South Africa, Vodafone in Ghana, and Globe in the Philippines — to provide people with fast, affordable, and reliable access to the internet. With Express Wi-Fi, Facebook works with internet providers and mobile operators to help build and grow their Wi-Fi businesses in a sustainable and scalable way. We're also announcing that Nokia, Aruba, and Edgecore Networks will join Arista, Cambium Networks, and Ruckus Networks as part of the Express Wi-Fi Technology Partner program to build hardware and software that powers Express Wi-Fi.
Please refer to below link for the full article: https://code.fb.com/connectivity/mobile-world-congress-2019/