Qualcomm, Bharti tie up for 5G in India


Bharti Airtel and U.S.-based chip maker Qualcomm Technologies on Monday announced a collaboration for accelerating 5G in India.

“Through Airtel’s network vendors and device partners, Airtel will utilise the Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms to roll-out virtualised and Open RAN [radio access network]-based 5G networks,” the two companies said in a joint statement.

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, adding that 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.

Further, the two firms will collaborate to enable a wide array of use cases, including 5G Fixed Wireless Access to deliver broadband connectivity at Gigabit speeds to homes and businesses.

This collaboration, the statement said, 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.

Airtel, which recently demonstrated 5G over a live commercial network in Hyderabad city, said its 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 and SMART Homes with connected things.

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 5G in India.”

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