In a world where commercial success is ever more dependent on innovation, but where ‘patient money’ is ever more scarce, ‘BT’s purposeful innovation’ is where the pursuit of scientific breakthrough is married with practical engineering not only to power BT but to transform the world.
In 2015, BT working with Toshiba Research Labs and ADVA demonstrated Quantum keys sent simultaneously with encrypted on same fibre using Toshiba equipment. These were 2x100Gb/s encrypted data channels over fibre using ADVA equipment. This is demonstrating that in the future we should be able to secure our core transmission network in such a way that it will be impervious to hacking.
In 2014, BT and Huawei achieved a super channel speed of 3 Terabits per second over a single fibre. An incredible feat made even more impressive by being set over an existing fibre link, using commercial grade hardware and software in a real-world operating environment. To put that speed into a real context, it’s the equivalent of transmitting around 100 Hi-def films in a single second.
In 2013, BT ran the first G.fast trial in Rushmere St. Andrew, near Ipswich. The trial had three customers connected to one DP. The network was overlaid to avoid interference to existing services, but used existing duct infrastructure.
This led to the January 2015 UK G.Fast deployment announcement by Gavin Patterson, BT CEO, where he stated that sSubject to successful pilots in 2015, widespread deployment of G.fast will start in 2016-17 – helping BT deliver ultrafast speeds of up to 500Mbps to most of the UK within a decade.
In 1984, the world's 1st 140 Mb/s commercial single mode optical fibre link was deployed by BT Running between Luton and Milton Keynes, these revolutionary 140 Megabits per second optical fibre cables replaced traditional copper. Lighter and thinner, they carried more information over longer distances. Fibre cables are also easier to install and maintain, this link taking just 38 days to get up and running. This was after successful trials in 1982 between BT labs, Martlesham and Kesgrave.
In 1980, the world's first purpose-designed optical fibre submarine cable, a five nautical mile test loop, was laid in Loch Fyne, Scotland in January.
1968. Empress Exchange, West Kensington, the World’s first digital exchange, which was designed by the General Post Office research labs.
1962. Telstar was the first active, direct relay communications satellite. Belonging to AT&T as part of a multi-national agreement between AT&T, Bell Telephone Laboratories, NASA, the British General Post Office, and the French National PTT (Post Office) to develop satellite communications, it was launched by NASA from Cape Canaveral on July 10, 1962, the first privately sponsored space launch
1943 - One of the Post Office Telecoms (the forebear of BT) research teams designed and constructed Colossus, the world's first electronic programmable computer, at Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes. Tommy Flowers was the electrical engineer who designed Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic computer, used to decipher enemy messages during World War II.
From 1935, he explored the use of electronics for telephone exchanges –convinced that an all-electronic system was possible. Tasked by Alan Turing with automating one of Bletchley’s cryptanalysis procedures, Flowers proposed a huge electronic system, ‘Colossus’, using 10 times more valves than had previously been attempted. He countered scepticism by insisting that Britain’s telephone system used thousands of valves reliably because the electronics operated in a stable environment with the circuitry constantly on. Colossus proved five times faster, and more flexible, than previous devices; in all, 10 Colossus systems were used in Britain’s wartime decoding efforts. They showed in June 1944 that Hitler remained convinced Allied preparations for the Normandy Landings were just a diversion, and ultimately assisted the events that brought about the end of World War II.
1926 – The Post Office in the UK and Bell Labs in the US engineered the world’s first two way transatlantic telephone conversation (by radio). The commercial radio telephone service started in 1927. A regular public transatlantic telephone service from London to New York using long-wave radio transmission on a wavelength of 5,000 metres (60kHz) was begun on 7 January at 1.45 pm. The original tariff was £15 for three minutes, reduced to £9 the following year. The pic is rugby radio station (which was used for the service)
1846. And it was the formation of the Electric Telegraph Company in 1846, that not only led to the creation of BT but to the formation of the entire Telecommunications industry.
In addition to our Global R&D centre at Adastral, we have global reach via the open innovation work we do with universities and partners around the world. Some examples of this include (but are not limited to):
Innovation Scouting, Silicon Valley and Israel BT’s Global Scouting team looks for innovative technologies and services, emerging business models with early adoption and examples of customer experience best practice across the commercial world. The team work with all BT’s lines of business, and across all levels of the organisation. It meets with at least 400 companies each year. Second only to Silicon Valley, Israel is a hotbed for world leading technology innovation. It’s the Israeli scouting team’s task to search and filter the best technology.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) MIT is one of the world’s leading global centres for technology innovation. BT works in consortia to maintain an interdisciplinary focus that brings together thought leaders from industry, government and MIT faculty, researchers and students, conducting research in multiple areas. Areas of focus include cloud computing, distributed data storage and streaming, algorithms and machine learning, security and privacy, and visualisation.
EBTIC (Etisalat BT Innovation Centre), Abu Dhabi, UAE EBTIC is a joint research and innovation centre established by Etisalat, BT and Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research. It aims to advance intelligent systems technologies for the Next Generation Networks (NGNs) and NGN-enabled ICT applications and services.
Tsinghua University. Beijing, China The premier technical university in China brings Chinese technology into BT as well as providing extra research and management resource to the company. The collaboration means BT and its customers benefit from access to Chinese academic expertise in new technology and an understanding of the impacts on the Chinese economy and society.
The India-UK Advanced Technology Centre is a collaborative programme funded by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) and industrial partners in both countries including BT. The programme’s three main research activity areas are: applications and services, core network systems and protocols, and heterogeneous wireless access networks.
Cambridge University, UK BT works across multiple departments and at a variety of levels, reflecting both BT’s own varied needs and the structure of the University itself. This includes BT supporting a number of PhDs at the Cambridge computer lab. Cambridge and BT are also university partners in the UK Quantum Communications Hub.
Sandeep Rathatha, BT
Open Innovation & Co-Innovating
Strategy & Innovation World Forum
Head of Innovation Central
Research & Innovation, BT
BT has a long history
Many world first achievements
telephone call by radio
optical fibre submarine
optical fibre link
GPRS live data call
over a mobile network
3Tbps optical fibre link
in the core network
200Gbps data secured by
Global Innovation Ecosystem
Partner ecosystem with customers,
industry, universities, government
Global Innovation Centres in China,
India, Israel, UAE, UK and US
Open Innovation – our workflow
Scan the globe for new ideas from
VCs, start-ups, partners, competitors.
Identify Trends and Threats
New ideas Scheme
Propositions to Business
case and validation
Rapid prototype & early trial, with
strong user/customer focus
Applied Technology Centre
Showcase new ideas and concepts
Customer Centre & Innovation
Inspire & Sell
Bringing everyone together
for rapid acceleration
Innovating every day with BT New Ideas
BT finalists celebrate at the IdeasUK
The BT New Ideas scheme captures ideas from BT’s employees to create
impact on BT’s customers and its bottom line.
BT Infinity Lab - Co-innovating with start-ups in the heart of TechCity
• In partnership with Tech Hub we have created a
co-innovation space to work with start-ups, run
events to engage with the tech city community
• Theme based competitions have attracted start-
ups from across the UK and beyond