Bharti Airtel, Intel collaborate to accelerate 5G rollout in India

Indian telco Bharati Airtel and U.S.- based chipmaker Intel announced on Wednesday a collaboration to develop 5G network by leveraging virtualized radio access network (vRAN) and open radio access network (O-RAN) technologies in India. 

According to Intel’s statement this collaboration will evolve communications networks from fixed-function equipment to virtualized cloud-native deployments and enable edge-to-cloud communications to power hyperconnected world. 

The Indian telco will deploy Intel’s latest 3rd gen Xeon Scalable processors, FPGAs and eASICs, and Ethernet 800 series across its network to build a solid foundation for rolling out wide-scale 5G, mobile edge computing and network slicing. 

“Being able 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 user,” said Dan Rodriguez, Intel corporate vice president. 

Bharti CTO Randeep Sekhon considered this collaboration as a part of Airtel’s 5G roadmap as it transforms India’s networks to provide the full possibilities of a hyperconnected world. 

It’s worth mentioning that Airtel is the first telecom operator in India to demonstrate 5G over a live network and is conducting 5G trials in major cities. 

Both companies are members of the O-RAN alliance that has been founded in 2018 by AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO and Orange, with a mission to re-shape the RAN industry towards more intelligent, open, virtualized and fully interoperable mobile networks. 

This collaboration of the O-RAN members will enable the Indian company to develop a range of “Make in India” 5G solutions – an initiative Airtel supports that aims to foster a broad ecosystem of home-grown telecoms network technology in the country.