Bharti Airtel and Qualcomm Technologies have announced their collaboration for accelerating 5G in India. Recently, Airtel became India’s first telco to demonstrate 5G over a LIVE commercial network in the city of Hyderabad.
Through Airtel’s network vendors and device partners, Airtel will utilise the Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms to roll-out virtualised 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. The flexible and scalable architecture of O-RAN will create new opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to become viable players in the deployment of 5G networks.
In addition, Airtel and Qualcomm Technologies will collaborate to enable a wide array of use cases, including 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) that is designed to deliver broadband connectivity at gigabit speeds to homes and businesses. This collaboration also aims to allow a faster rollout of broadband services in a cost effective and expeditious manner across India for last mile connectivity challenges that are becoming increasingly important in today’s remote, mobile-first society.
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. For customers, the ultra-fast and low latency of 5G will unlock a digital world of limitless possibilities – 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 with connected things.
Commenting on the development, 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. 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.”
Meanwhile, Rajen Vagadia, vice president, Qualcomm India Private Limited and president, Qualcomm India said, “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.”
Qualcomm 5G fixed wireless access platform supports virtually any combination of 5G spectrum bands and modes, from extended-range high power sub-6 to extended-range mmWave. The portfolio of Qualcomm 5G RAN platforms aim to deliver cutting-edge technology for virtualised, flexible and interoperable 5G infrastructure. Through Airtel’s network vendors and device partners, Airtel will utilise the capabilities of these platforms for accelerating the development of 5G applications for Industry 4.0 use cases and for driving innovations for Airtel’s global operations.