Airtel Partners With Qualcomm To Power 5G Services In India

Airtel will utilize Qualcomm's 5G RAN platforms to roll-out virtualized and Open RAN-based 5G networks

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New-Delhi-based Indian multinational telecommunications services company Bharti Airtel, and San-Diego-headquartered Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., on Tuesday, announced their collaboration for accelerating 5G in India.

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Through Airtel’s network vendors and device partners, the company will utilize Qualcomm’s 5G radio access network (RAN) platforms to roll-out virtualized and open RAN-based 5G networks.

“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,” shared Randeep Sekhon, chief technology officer, Bharti Airtel.

Recently, Airtel became India’s first telco to demonstrate 5G over a live commercial network in Hyderabad.  

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, the company said.

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.

“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,” added Rajen Vagadia, vice president, QUALCOMM India Private Limited and president, Qualcomm India.

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 (VR) and SMART Homes with connected things, the statement released by the company said.

At the end of December 2020, Airtel had approximately 458 million customers across its operations. 

The establishment’s OTT services include Airtel Thanks app for self-care, Airtel Xstream app for video, Wynk Music for entertainment, and Airtel BlueJeans for video conferencing.

In addition, Airtel has forged strategic partnerships with hundreds of companies across the world to enable the platform to deliver an array of consumer and enterprise services.