Telecom major Bharti Airtel and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc on Tuesday announced their collaboration for accelerating 5G in India. Recently, Airtel became India's first telco to demonstrate 5G over a LIVE commercial network in the city of Hyderabad.
An Airtel statement said that through its network vendors and device partners, the telecom will utilise the Qualcomm 5G RAN platforms to roll-out virtualised and Open RAN-based 5G networks.
"Airtel, as a board member of the O-RAN Alliance, is committed to driving the success of O-RAN and is working with Qualcomm Technologies to explore and implement the O-RAN approach for India," it said.
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, it added.
In addition, Airtel and Qualcomm Technologies will collaborate to enable a wide range 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. 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, said the statement.
Airtel 5G solutions
Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel said: "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."
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."
He added that 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.