Airtel and Intel collaborate to accelerate 5g in India

Bharti Airtel today announced a collaboration with Intel to develop 5G networks by leveraging virtual and open radio access network technologies and developing indigenous solutions.

This is Intel’s second 5G-related collaboration in India. It recently partnered with Reliance Jio to assist the telco with 5G network development, including 5G radio, core, cloud, edge, and artificial intelligence.

Bharti Airtel and other telecom operators are currently conducting 5G trials in a number of cities across India.

It is driving the ‘Make in India’ initiative, which aims to foster a broad ecosystem of domestic telecoms network technology in the country, and as such is developing some of the mobile network systems it intends to deploy in the future, particularly those based on Open RAN blueprints.

Airtel will use Intel’s latest 3rd generation Xeon Scalable processors, FPGAs and eASICs, and Ethernet 800 series across its network to lay the groundwork for large-scale 5G, mobile edge computing, and network slicing deployments.

As Airtel and Intel both are members of the O-RAN Alliance, both companies would work in close collaboration to develop a range of Make in India 5G solutions and further enabling world-class telecom infrastructure in India via local partners.

“Airtel is delighted to have Intel as a part of its rapidly expanding partner ecosystem for 5G. Intel’s cutting-edge technologies and experience will contribute immensely to Airtel’s mission of serving India with world-class 5G services. We also look forward to working with Intel and home-grown companies to unlock India’s potential as a global 5G hub,” Bharti Airtel Chief Technology Officer Randeep Sekhon said.

Dan Rodriguez, Intel corporate vice president, Network Platforms Group also commented that the ability to “digitally power the vibrant population of India’s connected users requires scalable and agile networks that can evolve to address the growing demands of its users. Airtel is delivering their next-generation enhanced network with a breadth of Intel technology, including Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and FlexRAN software to optimize RAN workloads with embedded intelligence, to scale their infrastructure and deliver on the promise of a connected India.”

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