Orange teamed with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and Facebook to launch a programme to assist French startups focused on network infrastructure innovation.
The operator added a Telecom Track to its Orange Fab accelerator programme. The track will allow startups to work with experts from Orange, TIP and Facebook to tackle issues ranging from network management to new access technologies.
“As part of our network evolution towards 5G and future technologies, there is a huge opportunity to innovate at the network level, and a need to support the bright minds and talents that will keep pushing telecoms innovation forward,” said Mari-Noelle Jego-Laveissiere, EVP of innovation, marketing and technologies at Orange.
Orange is a member of TIP, a Facebook-backed initiative to develop flexible ways of constructing telecoms networks.
Startups will participate in dedicated workshops, mentoring sessions, receive an optional €15,000 in funding, and have access to work space.
They will also have access to experts from the TIP community, the TIP Ecosystem Accelerator Centres and Facebook. Orange hopes this helps startups connect to innovation teams, investment partners, and venture capitalists who can provide expertise and potential funding.
The call for projects is already open, and candidates have until 14 May to submit entries. Candidates must be based in France.
Orange Digital Ventures will back the programme and provide fundraising guidance and venture capital networking opportunities.
Launched by Facebook in early 2016, TIP is an engineering-focused drive involving operators, infrastructure providers, system integrators and other technology companies, which are working towards transforming the way telecoms network infrastructure is built and deployed.