A Japanese mobile network operator is setting up a new computing hub at Queen's University in Belfast.
Rakuten Mobile said the facility would specialise in edge computing - a next-generation model for the internet.
Dr Blesson Varghese, lecturer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a fellow of the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology at Queen's, is leading the project. A team of PhD students is also involved.
"As billions of devices are getting connected to the internet, we need more sustainable and scalable architectures for computing, and they must not solely rely on distant centralised clouds," Dr Varghese said.
"Edge computing will bring certain services of applications closer to the users on the edge of the network.
"This will make applications more responsive and reduce bandwidth demand."
Dr Pierre Imai, head of research and innovation at Rakuten Mobile, added: "Through our collaboration with Queen's University, we have the opportunity to work with leading researchers in the edge computing field.
"The results should allow us to provide a better service and a greater level of convenience to our customers."