Airtel recently became India’s first telecommunication service to demonstrate 5G over a live commercial network in Hyderabad.
On Tuesday, Indian telecommunication operator Bharti Airtel and US chipmaker Qualcomm announced a collaboration for speeding up 5G in India. Airtel recently became India’s first telecom to demonstrate 5G over a live commercial network in Hyderabad.
In a statement, Airtel said that through its network vendors and device partners, it will use the Qualcomm 5G RAN platforms to roll-out virtualized and Open RAN-based 5G networks. The statement also said: “Airtel, as a board member of the O-RAN Alliance, is committed to driving the success of O-RAN and is working with Qualcomm Technologies to explore and implement the O-RAN approach for India.”
O-RAN or Open Radio Access Network is a term for interoperability and standardization of radio access network elements including software and product from multiple vendors.
The Airtel statement also highlighted that the “flexible and scalable architecture of O-RAN” will open up new opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to become significant players in the deployment of 5G networks.
Chief Technology Officer of Bharati Airtel Randeep Sekhon said: “We are delighted to have Qualcomm Technologies as a key technology provider in our journey to roll-out world-class 5G in India. With Airtel’s integrated service portfolio and Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G leadership, we will be well placed to usher India into the next era of hyper-fast and ultra-low latency digital connectivity.”
Vice President at Qualcomm India Private Limited Rajen Vagadia said that the company is pleased to work with Airtel. He added: “There is a compelling case to accelerate the roll-out of 5G networks in India, as it will help fast-track the country’s socio-economic growth and development.”
Airtel and Qualcomm are also going to work together to enable a wide array of use cases, including 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) aimed to deliver broadband connectivity at Gigabit speeds to homes and businesses. The collaboration also focuses on allowing faster rollout of broadband services in India for “last mile” connectivity issues cost-effectively and efficiently.