BT and Facebook have announced the three winning start-ups who will be admitted into the UK Telecom Infra Project Ecosystem Acceleration Centre (TEAC).
The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) has primarily been a playground for the big boys to date, all trying to solve the problem of ubiqtuous connectivity for their own self-serving reasons, but more recently there has been a search to bring start-ups into the community. The winners in the UK were KETS Quantum, Unmanned Life, and Zeetta Networks.
The TEAC initiative sounds a bit like a Dragon’s Den style audition in which start-ups pitch their credentials for admittance into the inner circle. We’re focusing on the UK here, but it should be worth noting these competitions are going on all over the world, and there are some substantial rewards. The start-ups will gain access to more than $170 million in venture capital funding and mentorship opportunities from UK investors, as well as the opportunity to rub shoulders with the other members which include some of the largest players in the tech game.
So who are the winners?
UnManned Life started life in London in 2015, but has grown quickly to hold a presence in Brussels, Paris, San Francisco and Mumbai. The focus here is Autonomy-as-a-Service to manage unmanned ground vehicles, aerial vehicles and other robotics systems through a single interface.
Right now the solutions which the company offers are pretty basic (if you could call them basic), focusing on parcel sorting, smart factory solutions and surveillance inspections, but the team has sky high ambitions. Drones are an area which seem to be quite a focus here.
Recently at a BT conference, the team unveiled Drones-as-a-Service, which makes uses of MEC Servers to remove the latency challenge which might be associated with drones. Data packets the drones are sending are immediately re-routed to Drone Control Application Servers, which creates a closed loop where specific data for autonomous flight is sent directly to where it needs to be and all other data packets travel to the EPC. It removes the need for EPC approval means that all data reaches its desired destination sooner. Neat.
KETS Quantum is a bit more on the nerdy side of tech. There aren’t any drones to play around with here, these guys are security buffs.
KETS has developed a range of technologies for quantum-secured communications, including quantum key distribution (QKD) and quantum random number generation (QRNG). It focuses on the deep and dark world of data encryption, but more specifically the challenge of our current methods been rendered useless by the improvement of processing power and the introduction of quantum computing.
Most encryption techniques work by hiding the key to read the message within very complex mathematical problems. The difficulty of the problems usually mean it is almost impossible to crack the message, but advances in compute power have made some encryption software more vulnerable. Such a challenge will ensure companies like KETS will have a place in the ecosystem for a while.
And just to take things up a level, Zeetta Networks make KETS and UnManned Life seem like high school jocks. Who doesn’t like a bit of Software Defined Networking.
Zeetta Networks started life in the University of Bristol focusing in the design, development and marketing of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) solutions. The main product for the team, NetOS, focuses on creating a centralised view extended physical networks and enabling the construction of virtual network slices.
The team are currently involved in a number of different projects including the Bristol Is Open smart city initiative, at Ashton Gate Stadium open wifi venture and various other 5G orientated schemes.