Telecom services provider Bharti Airtel on Monday announced a strategic partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for implementing 5G network solutions for India.
"Tata Group has developed a 'state of the art' O-RAN based Radio and NSA/SA Core and has integrated a totally indigenous telecom stack, leveraging the Group capabilities and that of its partners. This will be available for commercial development starting January 2022," the companies said in a joint statement.
TCS brings its global system integration expertise and helps align the end-to-end solution to both 3GPP and O-RAN standards, as the network and equipment are increasingly embedded into software. Airtel will pilot and deploy the indigenous solution as part of its 5G rollout plans in India, and start the pilot in January 2022, as per the guidelines formulated by the Indian government.
"These 'Made in India' 5G product and solutions are aligned to global standards, and interoperate with other products based on standard open interfaces and those defined by the ORAN Alliance," the statement said.
Both the companies are members of the O-RAN alliance, which aims to re-shape the Radio Access Network (RAN) industry towards more intelligent, open, virtualised and fully interoperable mobile networks.
The 5G solutions, once commercially proven in Airtel's network, will open export opportunities for India, which is now the second largest telecom market in the world, the companies said.
"We are delighted to join forces with the Tata Group to make India a global hub for 5G and allied technologies. With its world-class technology ecosystem and talent pool, India is well positioned to build cutting edge solutions and applications for the world. This will also provide a massive boost to India becoming an innovation and manufacturing destination," Bharti Airtel India and South Asia MD and CEO Gopal Vittal said.
Earlier this year, Airtel became the first telecom company in India to demonstrate 5G over its live network in Hyderabad. It has also started 5G trials in major cities using the spectrum allocated by the Department of Telecom.
"As a Group, we are excited about the opportunity presented by 5G and adjacent possibilities. We are committed to building a world-class networking equipment and solutions business to address these opportunities in networking space. We are pleased to have Airtel as our customer in this initiative," TCS COO and Executive Director N Ganapathy Subramaniam said.
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