Facebook and Ericsson are creating a joint lab for Internet.org in order to expand the reach of the Internet and push forward with Web access for all.
The companies said in a press release that the joint effort supports the Internet.org initiative, which aims to make "Internet access available to all and supporting the vision for the Networked Society."
The 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 at Facebook's campus in Menlo Park, California, the research lab will tackle barriers to Internet access worldwide.
In particular, the lab is meant to find solutions to the problems physical barriers represent in offering Internet access to everyone. Developers typically only have access to the network environment of their physical location, and with a variety of network types on offer globally -- such as 2G, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi -- across multiple devices and operating systems, this complexity can hamper developers. The innovation lab "will facilitate multiple network environments for testing and optimization, all in one location," according to the companies, and Ericsson will provide Facebook and application developers the ability to simulate different network environments from around the world.
Jay Parikh, Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering at Facebook said:
"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. 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."
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. Johan Wibergh, Executive Vice President and Ericsson's Head of Business Unit Networks commented:
"The goals of internet.org are very much aligned with our long-standing ideal that communications is a basic human need. 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."