Nokia has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Bharti Airtel to deploy a next-generation optical transport network (OTN) that will provide additional capacity, higher reliability and lower cost, enabling superior services for Airtel’s customers. As part of the agreement, Airtel will utilise Nokia’s 1830 PSS-x OTN switches in its national long-distance network connecting major cities across India.

The launch of 5G networks and the push for broadband connectivity across India is increasing demands for communications service providers (CSPs), including augmentation of backhaul transport for denser 5G mobile networks, wholesale connectivity for new segments like smart grids, data centre interconnect (DCI) and other business services. To address this exponential growth in traffic demand, transport networks need to be upgraded to increase overall transport capacity and bandwidth efficiency using high capacity OTN switching and utilising additional spectrum including the L-band wavelengths of the fibre. The increased capacity will mean that Airtel can potentially deliver faster and more reliable broadband services and be ready for new use cases.

The Nokia OTN solution enables Airtel to seamlessly upgrade its legacy transport switching infrastructure across its pan-Indian network footprint to meet new transport network traffic demands while improving both the performance and reliability of its network.

Commenting on the partnership, Chandan Kumar, head, optical network business centre, Nokia India, said, “As a world leader in OTN, our technology will help Airtel to increase the capacity and features of Bharti’s optical transport network to meet growing bandwidth demand driven by the enterprise and hyperscaler segments. It will also provide the service level performance to meet the strict service level agreements from Airtel customers”.