Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest communications solutions provider, today announced a collaboration with Intel for 5G network development by leveraging vRAN / O-RAN solutions. The partnership is part of Bharti Airtel’s 5G plans for India as the telco transforms its mobile networks to enable its users to absorb the complete possibilities of a hyperconnected Earth where the Industry 4.0 to cloud gaming and virtual or augmented reality become an everyday experience. Bharti Airtel became the first telecom service provider (TSP) in India to demonstrate the power of a 5G in a live network and is further conducting 5G trials in major cities, including Mumbai and Gurgaon.
What Will Airtel an Intel’s Partnership Entail?
Bharti Airtel will deploy Intel’s latest 3rd generation FPGAs and eASICs, Xeon Scalable processors, and Ethernet 800 series across its networks in the country for building a strong base for rolling out wide-scale 5G services, network slicing, and mobile edge computing.
As members of the O-RAN Alliance, Intel and Bharti Airtel will work together for coming up with a range of make in India 5G solutions and enabling world-class telecom infrastructure in India through local partners. Open radio access network (O-RAN) will be a crucial area for the companies since it brings creativity and tremendous innovation to the table.
These O-RAN platforms will make use of Intel FlexRAN, a reference architecture with both hardware and software components, and will enable software-based radio base stations that can run on general-purpose servers located at the network edge.
With affordable smartphones and the lowest data tariffs throughout the globe, India has the world’s second-largest internet population at over 620 million as per IAMAI – Kantar Cube. The country’s active internet user base is expected to grow to 900 million by 2025. The advent of 5G will further deepen digital adoption through a range of industrial and customer use cases.
It is worth noting that Bharti Airtel is not the first telecom operator in the country with which Intel has partnered. Intel has also partnered with Reliance Jio for helping the operator with 5G.