Bharti Airtel Ltd said on Tuesday that it would collaborate with US-based Qualcomm Technologies for the rollout of 5G platforms in India.
Recently, Airtel became India’s first telco to demonstrate 5G over a live commercial network in Hyderabad. The company will utilize Qualcomm 5G radio access network (RAN) platforms to roll-out virtualized and open RAN-based 5G networks.
“Through Airtel’s network vendors and device partners, Airtel will utilize the Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms to roll-out virtualized and Open RAN-based 5G networks. 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,” according to a company statement.
O-RAN’s flexible and scalable architecture will create new opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to become feasible players in the deployment of 5G networks, it added.
Open RAN or open radio access network architecture is industry terminology for interoperability and standardization of radio access network elements including products and software from various vendors.
The two companies will additionally collaborate to enable a new array of use cases such as 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) while seeking to allow a faster rollout of broadband services across the country affordably.
The collaboration also aims to allow a faster rollout of broadband services cost-effectively and expeditiously across India for last-mile connectivity challenges, said Rajen Vagadia, VP and president, Qualcomm-India and Saarc.
Qualcomm’s 5G FWA platform virtually supports any combination of 5G spectrum bands and modes, from extended-range high power sub-six to extended-range millimeter or mmWave. It aims to deliver technology for virtualized, flexible, and interoperable 5G infrastructure.
Airtel 5G solutions including FWA services will be able to deliver multi-gigabit Internet speeds wirelessly to customers and open up a wide range of innovations, said the statement.
For users, the ultra-fast and low latency of 5G will usher a digital world of `limitless possibilities’ such as gigabit size file downloads in seconds and 4K video streaming on-the-go across smartphones and computing devices, immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality and Smart Homes.
Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel, said, “Airtel has been a pioneer of new technologies and our networks are fully ready for 5G. We are delighted to have Qualcomm Technologies as a key technology provider in our journey to roll out world-class 5G in India.”
Rajen Vagadia, Vice President of QUALCOMM India Private Limited and President, Qualcomm India stressed that 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.
“We are pleased to be working with Airtel, and we are excited by the opportunity ahead. This collaboration is expected to play a critical role in Airtel’s plans to add 5G network coverage and capacity where and when it is needed the most,” Vagadia added.
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