At Mobile World Congress, amongst much louder announcements from the smart TV and connected home brands of the world, it's possible that you missed the news of Facebook's latest project. Probably their most ambitious project outside of Aquila, the Telecom Infra Project or TIP aims to bring a host of partners and providers together to 'reimagine traditional approaches to building and deploying telecom network infrastructure'. Pilot projects are underway in the Philippines and the Scottish Highlands.
Facebook burnt its fingers recently with Free Basics in India, which in the beginning included partners like Samsung, Ericsson and Qualcomm who all slowly disappeared from the partners' page. TIP has similarly impressive partners including Intel, but claims to be engineering-led with a focus on building infrastructure. At least on the surface, it appears to have different roots from Free Basics - which always seemed to be a cosmetic, advertising-oriented solution. It's unlikely that TIP was conceived in the aftermath of Free Basics given that it was so recent, but whether it can shake itself off completely from the link remains to be seen.