The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) has created the TIP Exchange, an online marketplace to help industry players find hardware and software validated by the TIP community. It kicked off the TIP Exchange this week as part of its TIP Summit in Amsterdam. The TIP Exchange initially features 45 solutions from 28 TIP member companies.
The Executive Director of TIP Attilio Zani said the purpose of the exchange was to not only provide a marketplace for the products, but also to ensure that work is not duplicated at multiple organizations. “We’ve built a very strong relationship with OCP [Open Compute Project] to make sure we’re aligned,” said Zani. “We’re looking for further relationships with other organizations to ensure there is broad industry alignment.” TIP also works closely with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).
The exchange will feature products from vendors, some of which were developed out of TIP or OCP. It could also include products developed by service providers who are working with disaggregation, although there aren’t any service provider products in the exchange, yet.
Zani said, “It’s a supply and demand of solutions within the TIP ecosystem. You’ll be able to search by product and category type.”
The fact that there are already 45 products validated by TIP speaks volumes about the viability of TIP’s work in disaggregation and the threat it may pose to legacy telco vendors. We’re already starting to hear about real-world deployments of TIP-validated products.Earlier this week Telefónica announced that it was commercially deploying disaggregated cell site gateways (DCSGs) that have been developed through a collaboration between TIP, Infinera and Edgecore Networks.
And in big news yesterday out of the TIP Summit, Vodafone said it will issue a request for quotes (RFQ) for open RAN technology for its entire European footprint, comprising more than 100,000 sites.
Vodafone has invited the incumbent suppliers in Europe to participate in the RFQ, and it’s also invited the open RAN suppliers that are members of TIP. Vodafone’s head of network strategy and architecture Santiago Tenorio said, “I think that right now this is the biggest tender that there is in this industry in the world.”
With the scale of the Vodafone RFQ, vendors will undoubtedly want to get their products listed on the TIP Exchange.
TIP has developed a badge scheme to show shoppers where each product stands in terms of development.Badge designations will show if a product is integrated in one of TIP’s community labs, whether it’s gone through a field trial, been used in a plugfest, or is following a blueprint.
Axel Clauberg, chairman of the TIP board and CTO at T-Systems, said, “With all the activities we’re driving with TIP, it’s very hard to see where a device is integrated. At TIP we’re focused a lot on building things. An important element is to do real integration in a lab.”
TIP has 12 global community labs, which provide a physical space for open innovation. For example, Deutsche Telekom has a community lab in Berlin focused around mmWave, and it invites all TIP community members to that lab. “But the lab is a lab,” said Clauberg. “The next step is to go into a field trial with real customers. We have a badge for that as well.”
Rakuten, Dell join TIP
TIP also announced that Rakuten Mobile and Dell recently joined TIP. Rakuten Mobile will contribute its 4G and 5G expertise and reference designs for disaggregated solutions, and it will also initially engage as part of the OpenRAN and OpenRAN 5GNR project groups. Dell will collaborate with TIP’s Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway sub-group on an open carrier grade network operating system that can run on top of disaggregated cell site gateway hardware.