Airtel and Intel join forces to fast track 5G roll out in India

Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel has entered into a partnership with Intel for developing 5G network by making use of vRAN / O-RAN technologies.

The partnership is said to be part of the 5G roadmap of Airtel for India with the company transforming its networks. It will enable Airtel customers to benefit from the hyperconnected world where Industry 4.0 to cloud gaming and virtual/augmented reality become a daily experience.

Airtel claims to be the first Indian telecom operator to have demonstrated 5G over a Live network. The company is undertaking 5G trials in major Indian cities.

Airtel said that it will deploy the latest 3rd gen Xeon Scalable processors of Intel along with the latter’s FPGAs and eASICs, and Ethernet 800 series in its network for laying a strong base for introducing wide-scale 5G, mobile edge computing, as well as network slicing.

Dan Rodriguez – Intel corporate vice president, Network Platforms Group said: “Being able to digitally power the vibrant population of India’s connected users requires scalable and agile networks that can evolve to address the growing demands of its users.

“Airtel is delivering their next-generation enhanced network with a breadth of Intel technology, including Intel Xeon Scalable processors and FlexRAN software to optimize RAN workloads with embedded intelligence, to scale their infrastructure and deliver on the promise of a connected India.”

Airtel, Intel join forces to fast track 5G roll out in India

Airtel, Intel join forces to fast track 5G roll out in India. Image courtesy of Intel Corporation.

Both Airtel and Intel, which are O-RAN Alliance members, will closely work with each other for developing a variety of Make in India 5G solutions and with the help of local partners, enable world-class telecom infrastructure in India.

Airtel said that in the coming years, open radio access network (O-RAN) will be an area of incredible innovation and creativity. The company added that O-RAN platforms will tap into Intel FlexRAN, a reference architecture with software as well as hardware components, and allow software-based radio base stations that can operate on general-purpose servers hosted at the network edge.

Randeep Sekhon – CTO of Bharti Airtel said: “Airtel is delighted to have Intel as a part of its rapidly expanding partner ecosystem for 5G. Intel’s cutting-edge technologies and experience will contribute immensely to Airtel’s mission of serving India with world-class 5G services.

“We also look forward to working with Intel and home-grown companies to unlock India’s potential as a global 5G hub.”

Last month, Airtel entered into a partnership with Tata Group for implementing 5G networks solutions for India.

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