Tell us about your startup
Weaver Labs is a Telecoms startup using blockchain technology to create a network of networks.
We build Cell-Stack, a software product to manage telecoms infrastructure to access it as a service. Simply put, what it does is: aggregates all the telecoms infrastructure that exists in a region in a shared pool of assets, it then opens it up to be consumed in an open marketplace. This software exists in the middle between those who supply telecoms connectivity and those who demand connectivity.
Through Cell-Stack, owners of networks can manage their cloud-based assets as a traditional orchestration tool, which cuts operational costs by acting as a single point of management. For those requiring connectivity, Cell-Stack is a portal where connectivity is offered and deals can be brokered. This “Network as a Service” portal abstracts all the complex elements of the network and instead offers a selection of open assets in the area.
We currently work with network infrastructure owners to help them set up their networks and use Cell-Stack as a management tool to provide connectivity services. We’re very focused on those who want to provide infrastructure as a service, from the public sector to the private sector. This includes local authorities building private networks or neutral host providers and systems integrators in the telecoms space.
What is your USP?
We address the market needs from multiple angles and try to solve the combined problem of telecoms infrastructure: how do we incentivise the community to build networks that allow to expand the technology in industries and cities?
- By creating a sustainable model
This Incentivises new players to own infrastructure, reduce deployment & operational costs and monetize infrastructure assets that can be digitised in a single platform.
- By diversifying the supply chain. Cell-Stack will be an open and shared marketplace between infrastructure owners, service providers and industries.
- “Digitise, aggregate and accelerate” This software will publish, make easy to discover and integrate digital telecom assets to create connectivity, and make networks easy to consume, scale and commercialise.
- By using a zero-trust approach to cybersecurity. Compliance-driven approach, driving security by design. We will be delivering connectivity networks based on monitoring, identity, network/device health and authorisation.
Some of the tangible benefits of Cell-Stack are:
- As a consumer, you will access telecoms infrastructure to deploy digital services from providers who own or rent their networks.
- As a service provider, you will rent telecoms infrastructure so that you don’t have to build your own, and you will have an easy-to-use management tool to organise your telecoms supply chain.
- As a supplier, you will have an open platform to offer your telecom assets across all sectors.
What is your relationship with the telecom sector?
With the number of applications using the network increasing, Communications Service Providers are left with the burden of investing up to 70% of their revenues in deploying new infrastructure. This, alongside the uncertainty in the new business models for CSPs to capture revenues of the new private networks market makes it difficult to build a business case to unlock infrastructure investment. This impacts service provisioning, universal coverage and innovation in various sectors.
Our goal is to distribute the investment for new infrastructure across a larger number of players – not just the CSPs, and increase the number of infrastructure providers in the connectivity markets by facilitating integration of infrastructure owned by different players (i.e., public sector, neutral hosts, private networks). The marketplace aggregates network infrastructure both active (antennas, fibre optics, edge cloud servers) and passive (street furniture, ducting, masts), creating a more competitive, agile and dynamic pool of offerings to the CSPs that want to access the infrastructure as a service and provide network services on top infrastructure that is owned by other players.
In this platform, CSPs belong to a larger ecosystem of participants – we call this the collaborative economy, which favours CSPs by:
- Reducing network ownership costs by collaborating: One network can serve multiple customers and can be built out of multiple contributions of digitised telecom assets
- Foster “as a Service” commercial models: Making connectivity easy to consume, from a variety of players investing in Telecoms infrastructure
- Easy for the market to capture value from connectivity: Open and exposed connectivity is easy to consume by customers, thus generating greater demand and acting as tool for innovation of new services such as AI, Robotics, Smart Devices, Manufacturing
How have you got to your current stage of development?
We’ve done some small rounds of investment but DCMS projects have been crucial to our development and success. The combination of investment with real-life project is key to innovating in the telco space.
Why did you establish the business?
We all come from very different backgrounds with different skill sets. That didn’t prevent us from working together in the 5G Tactile Internet Lab @ King’s College London, back in 2017. Maria was leading the team who delivered the first 5G Test Network in London, as part of a government funded trial where DCMS invested £16m to unlock the benefits of 5G. Anthony was the first hire for this project – Maria wanted to expand the knowledge of the Lab outside of “just Networking” looking at how the Telecoms sector was evolving, it was important to build strong software skills for this project. Together they built an amazing team of about 20 people, where James and Alex joined to work on the software team.
We spent long days and nights chatting about how software architectures were disrupting telco, we also talked a lot about blockchain, crypto and many other geeky stuff. Anthony, James and Alex come from the software and decentralized world, Maria very much telco, so we had a lot to learn from each other. While delivering the 5G project we could see how principles of decentralization could help solve scaling problems in Telecoms (this was back in 2018 – where Telecoms where still very monolithic and resistant to business model changes) and we embarked on a new adventure: we created Weaver Labs, to enable a more efficient use of the telecoms infrastructure by creating a decentralized network of telecoms assets. Our mission is to stimulate collaboration in the telecoms sector and make connectivity easy to consume
What does the future hold for your business?
Our ultimate vision is to create an open public decentralised network that serves as the engine of the marketplace of connectivity. This open public network creates a complete decoupling of infra ownership and service provisioning and breaks siloes of networks and knits together existing telecoms assets.
Our 10-15 year vision is that our Cell-Stack serves is a tool for:
- Service providers sell connectivity services over a shared infrastructure model, driven by open architectures. We have contributed to reducing the dependencies of large corporates controlling the value chain.
- Verticals, Public Sector (cities) and new connectivity users can scale fast, using Cell-Stack to build hyper-scalable networks, reducing the dependency on Service Providers to invest in infrastructure.
Our 15-20 year vision:
- Weaver Labs has created and established a global Peer to Peer network with protocols that have democratised the access to connectivity, reducing barriers to entry to new players in the telecoms sector.
- Weaver Labs has contributed to change the supply chain dynamics, removed barriers to infrastructure investment where the demand is met and there is a viable ROI to innovate and invest in new technologies.
You can meet Weaver Labs in the Startup Village at Connected Britain. To book your pass visit www.totaltele.com/connectedbritain