T-Mobile and Engine-4 have launched the first 5G & NB-IOT Open Innovation LAB in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands meant to bring together developers, start-ups, companies, academic institutions and government institutions together with the collaboration of corporate partners.
NB-IOT stands for “Narrowband Internet of Things,” which is a technology to enable a wide range of cellular devices and services that focuses specifically on indoor coverage, low cost, long battery life, and high connection density.
T-Mobile is providing equipment and 5G and NB-IoT technology, to support Engine-4 and its partners in the development of applications and solutions, such as those that recently allowed the rapid production of face shields and swabs using 3D technology, among others, which were distributed to several institutions offering health services since April of this year following the pandemic.
“Today more than ever we have acknowledged the vital role of technology that’s keeping us connected and allowing us to adapt quickly to change, or as we now call it, the new normal, from health care, schools and universities, restaurants and millions of workers from companies of all sizes that have gone from being present at their offices to remote work from home,” said Jorge Martel, general manager of T-Mobile Puerto Rico.
“With technologies like 5G, we will drastically change the infrastructure to do even more and boost Puerto Rico’s socio-economic development. T-Mobile has the fastest 5G network in Puerto Rico and the one with more coverage, covering areas of all the towns of Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra, and we now we can provide a space for the development and education of the solutions for present and future innovations,” he said.
Through this announcement, that collaboration is amplified, with the commitment to support development, education, investment and innovation in Puerto Rico, executives said.
“We’re proud to add a partner like T-Mobile to this effort. In this laboratory we will focus on emerging applications for artificial intelligence computing (IA) and more, developing innovative applications and services that highlight the potential of the T-Mobile 5G and NB-IOT network,” explained Luis Armando Torres and Jose J. Towers, co-founder of Engine-4.
Engine-4 has as its main mission to gather, under one roof, participants of all ages to learn from the technologies of today and of the future that are created and are not part of the regular school curriculum.
In addition, it has a large group of corporate and government partners and collaborators to achieve this, including: Hewlett-Packard, Aruba Network, Fibre X, Microsoft, IBM, Evertec, Intel, Arecibo Radio Telescope, DDEC, Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, NODO, Bayamón Municipality, RICHO, NUISX, TREDE y AlQMY.
The 41,000 square-foot Engine-4 laboratory in Bayamón focuses initially on education and on companies that are developing applications and 5G and NB-IOT emerging services within the industries of agriculture, manufacturing, health and entertainment.
“We’re working harder than ever to expand and build a transformative 5G network for all. We must build something bigger than we do, an ecosystem that goes far beyond the field of traditional telecommunications,” said Martel.
“It will be a platform for innovation, limited only by our creativity and imagination. We will welcome entrepreneurs, innovators and developers to create future applications from here. Making Puerto Rico into a hub of technology innovation,“ Martel added.