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Airtel and Qualcomm to collaborate for 5G, cost effective broadband services in India

Airtel and Qualcomm on Tuesday announced that they will collaborate to accelerate 5G in India. Airtel in a press release noted that it will utilise the Qualcomm 5G RAN Platforms to roll-out virtualised and Open RAN-based (O-RAN based) 5G networks.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | February 23, 2021 | Updated 13:21 IST

Highlights

  • Airtel and Qualcomm Technologies are working in collaboration to explore and implement the O-RAN approach for India.
  • Airtel and Qualcomm’s collaboration aims to allow a faster rollout of broadband services in a cost effective manner, according to the companies.
  • Last month, Airtel demonstrated 5G over a live commercial network in the city of Hyderabad and became the first telco in the country to do so.

Telecom giant Airtel and Qualcomm Technologies on Tuesday announced their collaboration for accelerating 5G in India. Last month, Airtel demonstrated 5G over a live commercial network in the city of Hyderabad and became the first telco in the country to do so. The companies in a press release noted that Airtel will utilise the Qualcomm 5G RAN platforms to roll-out virtualised and Open RAN-based (O-RAN based) 5G networks through Airtel's network vendors and device partners in the country.

Informing about the implementation of O-RAN technology in India, the companies noted that Airtel is a board member of the O-RAN Alliance and 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. They further noted 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.

Coming to the broadband aspect of the technology, the companies noted that the collaboration will enable a wide array of use cases, including 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) that is designed to deliver broadband connectivity at Gigabit speeds to homes and businesses. Airtel and Qualcomm's 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 especially at a time when society is relying on remote, mobile-first technology, according to the companies.

Coomenting on the collaboration, 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. 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. 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."

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