Several of the world’s largest cellular carriers, representing almost 1.3 billion subscribers, have pledged support to a Facebook project that aims to dramatically reduce the cost of building and expanding wireless data networks.

The carriers are joining the company’s Telecom Infra Project (TIP), an audacious attempt to design commoditized mobile network gear that can be easily and cheaply deployed to areas currently underserved by carriers.

Facebook announced the project in February with the support of Deutsche Telekom and South Korea’s SK Telecom, plus Intel and Nokia.

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Facebook’s plan to disrupt cellular gets big-name support