Kuala Lumpur will be one of the two cities in the world to experience Facebook's Terragraph technology.
The millimeter-wave wireless technology is expected to speed up Internet connectivity in dense urban areas, and reportedly runs on the same frequency as that proposed for 5G cellular networks. Budapest, Hungary is the second city where Terragraph trial will be deployed.
The announcement was made at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, where Facebook's global head of engineering and infrastructure Jay Parikh shared that the company plans to upgrade existing networks and build new networks in under-connected regions.
He also said that Facebook will employ new technologies and tools to help connect the 3.8 billion people who are not yet online and improve the experiences of those already connected.
Parikh stated that Facebook will partner with Telenor to conduct the Terragraph trial in KL, although he didn't explain if the project has begun or when it will commence. Facebook is also reportedly building new tools to support faster deployments of future millimeter-wave technologies, including but not limited to Terragraph.
"Technologies utilising millimeter-wave frequencies require precise line-of-sight planning to avoid interference. To address these challenges, we are leveraging computer vision and network optimisation models to identify which street furniture – city infrastructure such as traffic lights and stop signs – can be used to deploy these new networks," said Parikh.
Facebook is also working with partners in unconnected and under-connected regions to explore new business models and technologies.
Parikh shared Facebook's successful partnership with Telefonica that extended mobile coverage in rural areas of Peru last year, bringing high-speed mobile Internet to tens of thousands of Peruvians across the highlands and in the Amazonian rainforest.
They are committed to bring this collaboration beyond Peru, with a focus on rural and semi-urban connectivity. Facebook is also launching an initiative with Orange to focus on connecting the unconnected and improving connectivity in Africa.
"By working together as a community, we believe we can help operators build more robust and flexible networks necessary to meet new technology challenges and unlock new ways of connecting people," said Parikh.