Ericsson, a Swedish telecom gear giant, has received India's first ever 5G contract from the second-largest telecom operator in the country, Bharti Airtel. Ericsson has been a partner of multiple telcos in India, as well as in the global market, to help them with rolling out 5G networks. The deployment will go underway in August 2022. Both the companies will work together in 12 circles of the country. This means that for the remaining circles, Airtel will partner with another vendor.
Ericsson is Airtel’s long-standing connectivity partner, and pan-India managed services provider, with a partnership spanning more than 25 years and covering every generation of mobile communications. The latest 5G partnership follows the close of 5G spectrum auctions in India.
Gopal Vittal, MD and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel, said, “As our trusted, long-term technology partner, we are delighted to award our first 5G contract to Ericsson for 5G deployment in India. 5G presents a game-changing opportunity to drive the digital transformation of industries, enterprises and the socio-economic development of India. With our 5G network, we aim to deliver the full benefits of 5G connectivity, fuel India’s journey towards a digital economy and strengthen the country’s position on the world stage.”
Airtel will deploy power-efficient 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System and Ericsson microwave mobile transport solutions. Ericsson will provide 5G connectivity in 12 circles (geographical regions in India) for Bharti Airtel.
In addition to an enhanced user experience for Airtel customers – spanning ultra-high-speeds, low latency, and large data handling capabilities – Ericsson 5G network products and solutions will also enable Bharti Airtel to pursue new, innovative use cases with its enterprise and industry customers.
Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “We look forward to supporting Bharti Airtel with its deployment of 5G in India. With Ericsson’s unrivaled global 5G deployment experience, we will help Bharti Airtel to deliver the full benefits of 5G to Indian consumers and enterprises, while seamlessly evolving the Bharti network from 4G to 5G. 5G will enable India to realize its Digital India vision and foster inclusive development of the country.”
With 125 live networks in 55 countries to date, and around 50% of the world's 5G traffic outside China now carried over Ericsson's radio networks, the company is at the forefront of 5G around the world.