Re: Sounds like bollocks to me
"any IP protection they have will expire.."
By making the idea public they could prevent competitors from patenting the basic system. Still lot's of room for patents in the details. Assuming this is even practical it will likely be a long road to development.
The old US telcos used to publish lots of great technology research because as state sanctioned monopolies they were not allowed to enforce patent rights. So they published everything they could so others could not patent them.