White box named as “Voyager” is an attempt by Facebook to cater for the communication hardware requirements keeping in line with its urge to reach the un-reached. It all began with a wacky idea striking one of the Facebook’s engineers while in seated in the company’s headquarters in California. This might just be an idea, but initial prototypes are suggesting that it may hustle the whole $350 Billion telecommunication industry.
The engineer marked that “It should not be so difficult to develop our own communication systems”.
The aim behind this was to limit the high costs of existing telecom hardware giants like Huawei, Juniper Computers, Cisco, Ericsson etc. which deliver Facebook the pertinent hardware for its global presence. The need of being present in all parts of the world is really driving Facebook crazy in search of less costly solutions for data transfer with a high quality, reliability and quickly.
As suggested by the engineer, the “White box” transponder is supposed to be made from off the shelf components such as microchips from Acacia or Broadcom communications and optical equipment from Lumentum Inc. For governing this hardware the software can be developed from any of the emerging networking startup entrepreneurs.
“I was a bit skeptical about the idea at that time,” says Hans-Juergen Schmidtke the director of engineering at Facebook.
Schmidtke was initially the naysayer in response to the idea. His negation was backed by his experience at Juniper Computers because he knew that development of any hardware requires extensive research and a highly qualified team. At Facebook, the monetary investment may not be that much an issue but recruiting the hardware tech-genes may be a cumbersome task.
Schmidtke added that “Building a system 10 years ago was analogous to building a whole new company”. Keeping up with the innovation centered enthusiasm of Facebook, Schmidtke agreed with the team for development of the prototype. In three months, the group produced a working prototype of the white box. And Six months later, the same was introduced as a product by the name of “Voyager”.
The announcement was not welcomed in the telecommunications circle as this posed a serious threat to the giants who have been ruling the market for decades. Their products were soon to become obsolete. The business opportunities will soon start to shrink. The main purpose is to make Facebook fulfill its hardware requirements through indigenous resources and customized communication equipment.
Smart and highly efficient hardware is very much conducive for the online market and people associated with it. Web development and mobile app development companies around the globe are constantly coming up with innovative ideas for their web pages and apps catering for various needs of its users.
Voyager has successfully qualified many of its initial tests. Earlier this year, Voyager was tested by Facebook and Telia, a European telecom company, over Telia’s thousand kilometer telecom network. The results were very favorable. The manufacturing is being done at ADVA Optical Networking, a German tech genius company. At this stage, it has nine customers who opted to use Voyager for their telecom requirements. Paris based company “Orange” is also in the race of testing the device in collaboration with Equinix and the African company MTN.
Voyager depicts the future of telecom industry. Schmidtke and his team showed strong resolve to put together this raw idea into a functional product. With the success of Voyager, Schmidtke and his team are profoundly marked as stars of modern age communication. Where ever they go in conferences, they are treated as tech-celebrities. “We have done it showing that the effort of few engineers can change the whole world,” says Schmidtke.
The idea of having developed indigenous communication hardware might not just be limited to Facebook itself. Once any product like this is launched it opens new horizons for app developers, software developers, particularly mobile app development companies. Having a high-speed communication chiefly motivates new users to be online and that is where app development companies can benefit from.