Bharti Airtel and Qualcomm Technologies Inc today announced a collaboration for accelerating fifth-generation (5G) in India. Recently, Airtel became India’s first telco to demonstrate 5G over a LIVE commercial network in the city of Hyderabad. The company will use US chipmaker Qualcomm’s Radio Access Network (RAN) platform to roll out 5G networks in the country, it said in a statement to stock exchanges.
Airtel, as a board member of the 0-RAN Alliance, is committed to driving the success of 0-RAN and is working with Qualcomm Technologies to explore and implement the 0-RAN approach for India. The flexible and scalable architecture of 0-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.
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 SG 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 hyperfast and ultra-low latency digital connectivity.”
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.”
Headquartered in India, Airtel is a global telecommunications company with operations in 18 countries across South Asia and Africa. The company ranks amongst the top three mobile operators globally and its mobile network covers a population of over two billion people. Airtel is India’s largest integrated telecom provider and the second-largest mobile operator in Africa. At the end of December 2020, Airtel had approx. 458 million customers across its operations.
Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G.