BT partnered with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and Facebook (now Meta) to open the UK’s TIP Ecosystem Acceleration Centre (TEAC) in 2017, a UK lab bringing together start-ups and BT to develop new telecom digital technologies. TEAC UK gives start-ups access to BT's test networks and BT engineers in Adastral Park.

The lab is privately owned and operated, and available to those selected for BT's TEAC membership, through a formal application process.

As well as being a major mobile network service provider in the UK, BT brings the benefit of access to its facilities at Adastral Park and in particular the TIP Ecosystem Acceleration Centre there.  

Since opening in 2017, TEAC UK has recruited three waves of start-ups, sponsored by BT and working with BT Innovation Martlesham & BT Research in the areas of Edge Compute, 5G, AR/VR.

As well as access to BT's test networks and engineers, start-ups also get a 12 month membership of Innovation Martlesham and further collaborative and networking opportunities within the TIP and TEAC community.

BT and their TEAC partners have already conducted collaborative research projects to test open RAN technologies in Adastral Park, investigating both non-real-time and near-real-time RAN intelligent controller (Non-RT-RIC and Near-RT-RIC) functions including SON (Self Organizing Network) technology, energy efficiency, interference mitigation and massive MIMO. By BT feeding such findings into TIP, it helps accelerate vendor interoperability and maturity of the open RAN ecosystem.

Additionally, at Adastral Park, there is the BT TIP Community Lab. This is where BT carry out testing with TIP members to test a range of telecoms equipment, including Open RAN equipment. The community lab is both an indoor and outdoor test environment.

BT is also an active participant in four of the DCMS FRANC projects:

  • Proteus
  • 5G-DU-Volution
  • Scalable Optical Fronthaul for 5G Open RAN
  • Accelerating RAN Intelligence in 5G (ARI-5G)